A 22-year-old woman was held against her will and brutally abused for as long as nine months before being dropped off, critically injured, at a Baltimore County hospital, police confirmed Thursday.
Two people have been arrested in the case and charged with attempted murder, assault and false imprisonment.
The victim, who has a year-old child, remains in critical condition at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, according to police.
Police said that Germaine A. Smith-Bey, 29, and his girlfriend, Kimberly Stacy King, 37, kept the woman tied up in a bathroom in their apartment on Brookebury Drive in Reisterstown and released her bindings only when she would scream that she needed to relieve herself.
The suspects used the victim's ATM card to steal money from her bank account every month when she received disability checks, according to Lt. Robert McCullough, a county police spokesman.
The two are also accused of severely abusing the woman, with whom they had shared the apartment before turning on her, McCullough said. Repeated punches left the victim's face badly disfigured, with part of her upper lip missing and blindness in her right eye, according to a charging statement.
She was burned with cigarettes, beaten and kicked, the document says. She suffered spinal fractures, broken ribs, a laceration between her legs that required surgery, cuts and bruises, and neck injuries consistent with a strangulation attempt, according to the statement.
In addition, it goes on, the victim suffered from a severe staph infection "and a flesh-eating bacteria throughout her entire body as a result of the untreated open wounds."
During the woman's confinement, Smith-Bey told her that she was being locked in the bathroom because she was "too ugly to come out," the document says.
The woman told police she was fed only three times a week and rarely cleaned, the charging document says. She was not allowed to hold her child but, she told detectives, two other children in the apartment "would secretly bring her a pillow or a blanket" to soften the ordeal of being "forced to sleep on the cold hard floor."
When she was dropped off at GBMC on Aug. 25, weighing only 86 pounds, she was "extremely weak" and unable to walk. She had lost so much blood that she required two transfusions, and slipped into a coma before police could speak with her. By Sept. 4, she had recovered sufficiently to have a conversation with detectives and identified Smith-Bey and King as her assailants, police said.
Arrest warrants were issued four days later, and the couple was picked up Sept. 9. The two are being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
King was first questioned by police at GBMC on Aug. 25, after she had taken the victim to the emergency room and told an elaborate story to distance herself from the young woman's condition, according to King's charging document.
It says she told police that she was the victim's aunt and that she had received a phone call earlier that day "from an unknown male who blocked his phone number" saying that the woman was at Greenmount Avenue and 25th Street in Baltimore, "in bad shape" and "hurting herself and sitting in scalding hot water."
King said she drove to pick up the woman, took her to the Reisterstown apartment and "cleaned her up." Ultimately, after the victim "began spitting up blood and becoming dazed," King told police, she took her to GBMC.
Police rejected the tale after determining through cell phone records and surveillance-camera footage that King had not been in the area of Greenmount Avenue and 25th Street that day.
The Baltimore Sun had received information about the woman's imprisonment Sept. 7, but police would not confirm it at the time.
On Thursday, McCullough, the spokesman, did not explain why the department had waited a week to reveal the arrests, other than to say that the case was still being investigated.