News

Woman suspected of abusing and blinding 14-year-old girl

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Federal Way Police are looking for a woman suspected of abusing her 14-year-old cousin to the point the girl is blind in one eye and has multiple injuries from years of alleged assaults.

Chornice Y. Kabbelliyaa, 32, is wanted by police on a warrant for first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. She hasn’t been seen by police since she apparently fled her apartment on Jan. 4.

Authorities said Kabbelliyaa has been the alleged victim’s foster mother since the girl was 5 years old.

Police and investigators from Child Protective Services (CPS) and the state Department of Social and Health Services were called to the apartment where Kabbelliyaa and the teen were living after a witness reported seeing the woman hit the girl several times in the head with an umbrella, slapping her and locking her in a storage closet for up to six hours.

According to authorities, when Kabbelliyaa and her mother answered the door, they claimed to not know where the girl was. But after about 30 minutes, one of the CPS investigators saw a blanket on the floor move. A police officer lifted the blanket and found the girl.

Kabbelliyaa and her mother yelled at the girl so loudly, CPS investigators took her outside. The women acted as if they didn’t know the girl was there, according to a police report.

After deciding to take her into protective custody, the investigators went back to the apartment and found the front door closed and locked. When they got inside, Kabbelliyaa and her three biological children were gone. Her mother was the only one inside. Investigators found several sets of footprints leading away from the apartment’s back door.

The teenage girl was taken to St. Claire Hospital in Lakewood, and there it was determined her tongue was severely burned, officials reported. She told authorities Kabbelliyaa heated a fork on the stove and held it to the girl’s tongue for punishment.

It was also discovered the girl was blind in her right eye. She told investigators later that Kabbelliyaa allegedly poked her in the eye with her fingers for several minutes and stabbed her eyes with an insulin needle.

She had also been burned on her hand, had her feet smashed with 10 pound dumbbells while standing next to Kabbelliyaa’s bed, and had suffered a chipped tooth, authorities said.

The girl told investigators the punishment for not listening was allegedly having to stand by Kabbelliyaa’s bed all night. If she fell asleep, Kabbelliyaa would allegedly hit the girl’s feet with a dumbbell.

While her injuries healed, the girl wasn’t allowed to go to school, according to authorities. When she cried, Kabbelliyaa allegedly hit her about 10 times in the back and buttocks with crutches.

The most recent incident in which the witness saw the teen hit several times with the umbrella handle started because she handed mismatched sandals to Kabbelliyaa, according to authorities.

The girl remains in protective custody with a foster family, according to officials.

Police said Kabbelliyaa is 32, black, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, and has brown eyes and brown hair.

Authorities said she might have her three biological children –– ages 14, 11 and 1 –– and a niece with her.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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