Investigation leads to child abuse arrest in North Natchitoches Parish

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A joint investigation by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA Dept. of Children and Family Services, Project Celebration, and Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center led to the arrest of a north Natchitoches Parish woman in connection with one of the worst cases of child abuse, detectives have seen, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies responded to a reported child abuse in the 400 block of Stiles Road near Campti Nov. 10 at 8:47 p.m.

Deputies learned the child had been transported by family to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for treatment.

While speaking with the mother of the three-year-old child and a family friend at NRMC observed severe bruising to the child’s body which included the face, abdomen, back, arms and legs after the child was returned to the mother following a child custody exchange with the father.

Deputies began processing an offense report while detectives began interviewing possible witnesses in the case. The LA Dept. of Children & Family Services, Project Celebration in Many, and the Rapides Children Advocacy Center also joined in to assist with the case.

The child was later transported to the Shreveport CARA Center for additional medical evaluation.

While investigating, photographs began surfacing on social media from a private individual of the incident, which lead to numerous additional calls and the public showing concern for the child.

Ongoing criminal investigations are of sensitive and confidential nature therefore any information related to those investigations cannot be released to the public at the time pending review of the facts and evidence collected for prosecution, according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

Detectives arrested Amber Barbo, 24, of the 400 block of Stiles Road in Campti on Nov. 21. She was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with Second Degree Cruelty to Juveniles.

Barbo has been released on a $10,000 bond set by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge.

One detective assigned to the case with eight years of experience in investigations said this is the worst case of child abuse he has seen and it was very disturbing.

Detectives say the investigation is continuing; other arrests may be forthcoming.

If you have any additional information concerning this case, contact Detective Derrick Sowell at 318-357-7830.