Dangers from exotic animals, leaving kids in hot car: Mo. couple charged with wide variety of child abuses

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RICHMOND, Mo. — A Richmond, Mo. couple, accused of killing their three-week-old baby in 2012, is now charged with abuse and neglect of their other children and exposing them to dangers from snakes, lizards and alligators.

Dennis and Rebecca Matthews are now both in jail, while their three children, ages two to six years old, are in protective custody.

The first charge against them is for the death of their infant daughter in 2012.  The little girl had broken ribs and died from blunt force trauma to the chest.  Doctors determined the baby’s ribs had been broken before, and were in various stages of healing.

According to court documents, the parents denied abusing their little girl, and explained that she was having trouble breathing, and when they heard “clicking sounds” from her ribs, they say her father tried to pop them back into place on his own.

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