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N.C. Couple Accused of Child Abuse Resulting in ‘Open Wounds,’ Sepsis and ‘Unknown Mass’ in Adoptive Son’s Stomach


Reed Karriker (L) and Georgianna Karriker (R) appear in mugshots

A North Carolina husband and wife have been arrested and charged with child abuse that allegedly left an 11-year-old boy in need of severe medical attention for a series of horrifying issues and ailments.

Reed Karriker, 42, and Georgianna Karriker, 42, are the adoptive parents of the victim, according to a press release issued by the Salisbury Police Department. They stand accused of one count each of felony child abuse after an original inquiry into child neglect.

The victim was originally placed with the Karrikers as a foster child in 2013.

Police say their investigation began after the “nonresponsive child” was brought to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. by the male defendant on Jan. 21, 2022 at around noon.

“The child showed possible signs of neglect and was transported to Presbyterian Hospital for further treatment,” the SPD press release says. “The Salisbury Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division was notified and initiated an investigation. After reviewing the medical information and facts obtained during the investigation, arrest warrants were obtained.”

Those alleged signs of neglect included a diagnosis of an infectious condition that could have ended the boy’s life.

There were also multiple open sores visible on various parts of the boy’s body.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by local CBS affiliate WBTV, the boy “reportedly suffered sepsis, hypothermia, and multiple open wounds throughout various stages of healing.”

Sepsis is an extreme response by the body’s immune system to an infection. The condition results in a chain reaction of systemic internal organ dysfunction that causes damage to the body’s tissues.

An arrest warrant in the case also includes photographs of the boy’s various wounds and maladies and says the boy “had an unknown mass in his stomach that required surgery to remove.”

Police allege the child “had not been seen by medical professionals since October 2020″ and further elaborated that the boy “had not been seen again by a medical professional until admitted to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center” on the day the investigation began.

Reed Karriker, according to a court document, had attempted to fill a medication refill for the child in April 2021 but was turned down by staff at Novant Health Lakeside Primary Care in Concord, N.C. because the boy had not been seen by medical staff at the practice.

A search warrant executed by the SPD last week resulted in the seizure of an iPhone, a Mac Mini computer and charger, an HP laptop and charger, an Amazon Kindle and an Apple iPad, according to local newspaper The Salisbury Post.

The couple was arrested on Jan. 27 and held in the Rowan County Detention Center. Each defendant made bail and they are currently free after receiving $40,000 bond from a local judge.

According to WBTV, Georgianna Karriker is “listed as a school counselor at China Grove Elementary School” in the town of the same name. Rowan-Salisbury School System district leaders, however, have since placed her on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

[images via Salisbury Police Department]

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