A Thibodaux couple has been arrested after authorities received reports of a vehicle driving 'recklessly' on I- 10. The vehicle later crashed on the service road where Latonya Harris, 40, and her boyfriend, Terrence Washington, 41, were detained by officers.

The couple was arrested in connection with a disturbing case of sexual abuse, torture, and attempted murder of a 15-year-old girl, according to WAFB. The victim appeared to be severely injured, having burns and multiple gunshot wounds on April 20 around 11 p.m.

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The 15-year-old was immediately transported to a hospital while the other minor, a 10-year-old child, was taken into custody by law enforcement.

WAFB reported that Sheriff Soignet described the burns on the girl’s upper body as "gruesome," while an investigator in Baytown characterized her injuries, including gunshot wounds to the chest and face, as the most severe witnessed in her career.

This is the type of case that is not only difficult to deal with the circumstances, but hard to imagine the level of violence and evil that can occur at the hands of a human being. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have these extremely violent offenders in custody, and off of our streets,” Soignet said in a statement. “Our Detectives have worked tirelessly since learning of the incident, in hopes of protecting an innocent young lady from further torture and abuse. Unfortunately, this investigation doesn’t stop with the arrest process. Our Detectives will continue to investigate this very complex case, to ensure that these violators remain jailed for a very long time.

Washington reportedly confessed to sexually abusing the victim over several months and admitted to shooting her during a dispute with Harris at their Thibodaux residence. He claimed the gun discharged accidentally while he was holding it, resulting in the victim being shot in the face.

Washington was also present during a horrific incident in February where the couple burned the girl at home and attempted to treat her injuries themselves. After the shooting, the couple, along with the victim and another minor child, fled to Texas.

The 10-year-old minor shared chilling details in her testimony during an interview and claimed to have witnessed Harris setting the victim on fire in the home. A search of the family's Thibodaux residence uncovered evidence of a shooting, blood, and a strong odor of infection and decomposing flesh according to WAFB.

Following the first interview Washington changed his statement and claimed that Harris was responsible for setting the girl on fire. Harris apparently blamed the 15-year-old for the sexual abuse and refused to seek medical treatment.

Harris was taken into custody in Terrebonne Parish and faces charges including attempted first-degree murder and domestic abuse battery child endangerment. Washington, facing numerous charges, remains in the Harris County Detention Center in Texas pending transfer to Terrebonne Parish authorities.

Anytime a child suffers abuse at the hands of a family member or household member, it is both tragic and incomprehensible. When the very people whom a child should be able to trust for protection and love abuse them, it is a crime with long-lasting effects,” Baytown Police Chief John Stringer said in a statement. “The severe abuse and torture of a 15-year-old girl by members of her own family is a horrific act that has shaken us all. We wish both physical and psychological healing for the victim of this horrific crime.

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