News

Suspected child torturer tracked down in Texas

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

A Federal Way woman who allegedly abused her teenage foster daughter for several years and blinded the girl in one eye was arrested in Texas last Saturday.

Chornice Y. Kabbelliyaa, 32, was apprehended in Houston by U.S. Marshal deputies after it was determined she was hiding in an apartment.

How police learned she was in Houston remained a secret Monday. A Federal Way Police spokeswoman would only say it was “investigative technique” that led to Kabbelliyaa’s arrest.

Kabbelliyaa was awaiting extradition Monday in Harris County, Texas on $1 million. A warrant was issued in King County for her arrest on suspicion of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

Her three children were with her and appeared unharmed. They were in the care of Harris County Child Protective Services, according to authorities.

Kabbelliyaa allegedly fled from Federal Way Police and investigators from Child Protective Services (CPS) and the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) on Jan. 4 after they went to her apartment to investigate claims made by a witness that Kabbelliyaa struck her 14-year-old foster daughter several times with an umbrella.

After police officers and CPS and DSHS investigators removed the girl from the apartment, Kabbelliyaa apparently slipped out the back. Investigators found several footprints going away from the rear of the residence, officials said.

A warrant was issued for her arrest.

After spending time with investigators, the girl told them Kabbelliyaa allegedly hit her repeatedly in the past and stuck her in the eyes with her fingers and a hypodermic needle.

Medical professionals determined the girl was blind in one eye and she had been burned on the tongue with a metal fork, according to authorities.

They reported the girl said she had also been allegedly burned on the hand by Kabbelliyaa and once had to spend the night standing next to her foster mother’s bed “for not listening.” When the girl fell asleep, Kabbelliyaa allegedly struck her feet and ankles with 10-pound dumbbells.

Last week, police didn’t think Kabbelliyaa had gone to another state because she was a recipient of federal Section 8 housing assistance. Investigators were working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in case she applied to live somewhere else in the country, said police spokeswoman Stacy Flores.

Kabbelliyaa also hadn’t enrolled her three children in school. They apparently went with her when she fled, Flores added.

On Monday, Flores said her earlier comments were true at the time because investigators didn’t know Kabbelliyaa could have been somewhere else.

The U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force made the arrest after Federal Way Police contacted the federal agency’s office in Seattle, said Federal Way Police commander Stan McCall.

Increasingly, the U.S. Marshal is called upon to arrest suspects who have fled to another state because they have made that part of law enforcement one of their specialties, McCall said.

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

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