Family advocates react to Savannah child abuse case

Family advocates react to Savannah child abuse case
Published: Sep. 13, 2016 at 8:06 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2016 at 9:49 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Family advocates are speaking out after a child was bound to a crab trap with industrial tape over his mouth, at a home on Waycross Road.

The four-year-old child is okay, but police arrested his aunt, Amy Sanders, and they are still looking for his mother.

Investigators say it all started over a custody dispute. Jill Love refused to allow the child's father visitation, but when the child's father insisted, he found the child tied to a crab trap with tape over his mouth.

We spoke to Cheryl Branch over at the safe Shelter, who says this family has never been to the shelter, but she deals with a lot of custody issues and says oftentimes, regardless if parents have had an abusive past, they can become abusive when it comes to fighting for custody.

"Where is that person the most vulnerable, and what is it that person loves the most, and in this case, it's a child - sometimes it's a pet - but that's what they hone in on. It's all about hurting the other person, regardless of the damage they are doing to the child,"  said Cheryl Branch, Safe Shelter. "This is a horrific case. You know...custody, even if it's not abusive personalities involved, often get pretty ugly. And when you've got a toxic person in the mix here, it's 'what's the best way to hurt the partner than to hurt the child.'

Folks are shocked to hear of this, as the area is pretty family-friendly.

"It absolutely breaks my heart," said Reverand Kyle Waddell, Chevis Oaks Baptist Church.

Kyle Waddell is the pastor at Chevis Oaks Baptist Church, just a couple of blocks over from where the incident took place, and he's praying for the child.

"I just hope to God they find that woman," Branch said.

Branch isn't the only one hoping and praying. Waddell is taking a good look at a picture of the boy's mother, in hopes to find her.

"One of the ladies looks familiar, but I can't say that she's been here," he said.

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