Detective: Mom beat child with power cord

OKEECHOBEE — A man and his wife have been released on bond following their arrest by a police detective for allegedly beating a child with an electrical cord and treating her like a slave.

Detective Bill Saum, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), said that child as well as 10 of her siblings are no longer with their parents.

“All of the children were removed from the home and are in the care of the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said the detective in an interview Wednesday, April 27.

Leon Leonard Edouard, 35, and Tisha Jolene Edouard, 40.

Leon Leonard Edouard, 35, and Tisha Jolene Edouard, 40.

Arrested Tuesday, April 26, were Leon Leonard Edouard, 35, and Tisha Jolene Edouard, 40. They were each charged with one felony count of aggravated child abuse.

They were booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on bonds of $75,000 each.

Jail records indicate they have both been released on bond.

When asked how long the Edouards had been beating the 17-year-old girl, Detective Saum said he doesn’t yet know.

“We’re still trying to figure that out,” he said.

The beating and torture finally came to light when the teen ran away from home and was taken in by a trusted friend and the friend’s parents. When those parents saw the extent of the teen’s injuries, they took her to the Raulerson Hospital emergency room.

Leon, pointed out Detective Saum, had also cut off all of the girl’s hair.

“He did this as part of her punishment. (But) she was unable to tell us why she was being punished,” the detective stated.

In his arrest report, the detective detailed how Tisha punished the girl by beating her with “… a Dell laptop power cord.” He went on to document that the girl’s wounds were consistent with a beating and had apparently been going on for some time.

“She also had old wounds that had healed,” the detective added. “Other children said hearing her cry as she was being beaten made them sad. These children suffered through hearing the beatings and her cries.”

According to the detective’s report “… some of the contact wounds clearly show the curved part of the electrical wire making it reasonable to believe Tisha Edouard had the electrical wire folded over with the two ends in or near her hand.”

Detective Saum also pointed out that the teen was treated like a slave for the other 12 occupants of the home. He stated she had to do the dishes, clean the house, do the laundry and take care of the cooking.

“She is used as a domestic servant by (the other occupants) who think nothing of hitting, slapping or beating her when she fails to meet demands,” stated Detective Saum.

The detective also explained how the abused teen was taken to a dentist about a year ago and had a hole drilled in one of her teeth. Neither parent, continued the report, have taken her to have that hole repaired.

“She cannot eat on one side of her mouth,” he stated.

The other children were also guilty of attacking the girl, indicated the report.

“Many of the children were attacking her and she had to be separated from them. It is as though these children have learned, or are allowed, to act this way,” added the detective.

Detective Saum said one of the children had apparently been coached to not speak with police or officials from the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

“He never spoke one word — completely ignored us,” the detective stated.
Arraignment for Leon and Tisha Edouard has been set for May 19 at 10 a.m.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.