A look at resources available to parents after death of abused six-year-old

Jessica Bundren has been arrested for injury to a child.
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A Bryan woman is behind bars, accused of injuring a six-year-old girl in her care. The young girl was found dead inside their home Tuesday night.

40-year-old Jessica Bundren is still in jail on a $150,000 bond. Bryan Police say she’s the stepmother to the girl.

Investigators say that child had been beaten for wetting the bed.

Police and EMS descended on the home Tuesday night on Garden Acres Boulevard. 9-1-1 was called after the little girl was found not breathing inside her room. Bryan Police arrested Bundren after the girl was found with bruises and welts on her body. Bundren said she spanked her several times in recent weeks with her hand and a belt.

“One thing we have seen in the pandemic is an increase in physical abuse because everybody is stressed out," said Cary Bake, executive director at Scotty’s House, an organization that works with abused children.

She said there are lots of local resources parents can take advantage of during these challenging times.

”Most people think CPS but unfortunately CPS is not really a resource until there is an allegation of abuse or neglect," said Baker. “There are other resources available in the community though. One of them that we know of that we refer people to is Project Unity, they have a parenting class. There is also a program at Twin City Mission."

KBTX legal analyst Shane Phelps was previously a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. He said a charge of injury to a child is common in these cases as the investigation first starts.

“So getting that medical expertise from the medical examiner as soon as possible is critical in these kind of cases and when they find out what the cause of death is, then that will advance the investigation significantly," said Phelps.

“Ask for help, I think that’s the biggest thing that we kind of expect of ourselves as parents is this is our child, this is our responsibility. We should be able to figure it out and it’s ok to ask for help especially right now where everything just seems 10 times worse than it really is," said Baker.

We also talked to some neighbors Wednesday who said off camera they were shocked by the death and described Bundren as being very controlling. Police have not released the name of the victim yet or been able to confirm if Bundren was married to the father.

We have our previous story on the death here.

We have more resources for parents from the state here.

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