WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia State Police Crimes against Children Unit has arrested a husband and wife accused of physically, emotionally and sexually abusing their adopted children.
Investigators say it’s one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve seen, but the couple’s family says the story is tough to believe.
“We was up there a whole lot and the kids would be out in the yard playing. Everything would be just fine,” Virginia Runyon, a family member, said.
Investigators say It started in the summer of 2010 when one of the children claimed her adoptive father, 55-year-old Donald Hannah, sexually abused her. So she told her adoptive mother, 50-year-old Linda Hannah, what happened.
“She didn't believe her. She said "you're lying and you probably asked him to do it,’” Corporal M. Moore said.
From there the alleged abuse continued. The Hannah's are now both in jail. They’re accused of emotionally and physically abusing the girl and her little brother.
“They described purple stripes on the bottom of their feet. Their feet would hurt the next day and they could barely walk,” Corporal Moore said. “The little girl was made to sleep outside as punishment; sometimes on the porch, sometimes in the yard, sometimes by the gate.”
It’s a tough story to hear and one that Runyon says she doesn't believe.
“This abuse stuff and whatever is just a bunch of lies,” Runyon said.
However, investigators say marks from the physical abuse can't be denied and the emotional scars will be even tougher to heal.
“It's very heartbreaking when you see a child break down and cry when she's trying to tell her story and say "I just don't understand why they don't like me,’” Corporal Moore said.
Donald and Linda Hannah, of Crum are both charged with two counts of child neglect and two counts of child abuse. Donald is also charged with incest.
WSAZ contacted the Hannahs to get their side of the story, but they declined to comment.
Both children are now in a new foster home.