Awful New Details About The 9-Year-Old Girl Forced To Drink Toilet Water And Sleep In A Bathtub By A Tennessee Couple Who Claimed She Was Mentally Unstable

Photo: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Trish Piatt, Jesse Piatt

They said they were afraid she would kill them in their sleep.

A Tennessee couple is behind bars after police say were allegedly abusing a 9-year-old girl in their care. 

Authorities in Shelby County started investigating Trish Piatt, 30 and Jesse Piatt, 37, in January after a teacher reported that the girl had tried to steal food from her. The child told responding officers that the suspects made her sleep in the bathtub as well as outside without a blanket. 

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Trish and Jesse would also serve the girl dry ramen noodles and once gave her a hot dog roll to eat while other people in the home ate spaghetti. She told her teacher that she wanted to move so she could "sleep in a warm bed, take hot showers and have good meals." 

She came to school in dirty clothes and had sneakers that were too big. In the police report, she's described as "very thin."

The child's head was also bald in one spot, and when asked about it, she said Trish shaved it off when she was mad at her. She also allegedly told the child to "go ahead and kill herself." 

Jesse told police that he thinks the child is mentally ill and that he wanted to send her to a facility because he was afraid "she would kill them as they slept." He claims she slept in a tub because she refused to sleep in her room. 

Her teeth also had not been brushed in a year because Jesse and Trish claimed they were "unable to make her do anything."

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A doctor who examined the girl said she had "concerns about child abuse by torture."

“The child’s behaviors and disclosures were all indicative of nutritional neglect, medical neglect, and psychological abuse as well as physical abuse,” the records show. “Descriptions of [the] treatment are consistent with torture and [the doctor] believes [the child] is at high risk for serious psychological problems as a result of [the] abuse, as well as death…”

Shelby County Sheriff's Office

Jesse and Trish Piatt are charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. The girl has been placed in foster care where she has gained weight and grown back her hair. 

She reportedly sleeps in a bed and "now seems to be a happy, now 10-year-old child."

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).