Home Care Worker Charged With Abusing Special Needs Child

An Evansville woman hired to help care for a young girl with disabilities is accused of abusing her. According to court records, the alleged beating was captured by surveillance cameras installed in the child's home.

Melody Helmbrecht, 46, has been charged with felony counts of child neglect and battery to a disabled person in connection with the June incident. She has since posted bond after being arrested on a warrant last week.

The victim's father installed surveillance cameras in the home when he became curious of different actions taken by Helmbrecht, according to the probable cause affidavit. Helmbrecht knew the cameras had been installed, the affidavit states.

The victim's father told police he reviewed some of the surveillance video which reportedly showed Helmbrecht was dragging the 8-year-old victim by one arm through the house, according to the affidavit. The video also reportedly shows Helmbrecht throwing the victim onto a couch, the affidavit states.

Helmbrecht also left the victim unattended for significant periods of time, investigators said.

The young victim suffers from cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound. The victim is also non-verbal and has periodic seizures, her father said.

During an interview with a detective, Helmbrecht reportedly admitted to being neglectful of her duties as a caretaker but denied inflicting any physical abuse. Helmbrecht was working for a company called Help at Home, which has an office in a shopping center near Lynch and Green River Road.

Help at Home has satellite offices in 11 states.

Local company officials said they are taking the allegations very seriously but could not provide further comment. Calls to the company's corporate office in Chicago were not returned as of Tuesday evening.

(This story was originally published on August 8th, 2017.)


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