Couple Arrested for Child Abuse

James Dean Smith, 29 and Casey Lynn Wood, 30 of Kinston, North Carolina. [Photo credit: Lenoir County Sheriff's Office]

On Wednesday the Lenoir Count Sherff's Office issued a press release concerning a pair of felony child abuse case they investigated the previous night.


A disturbance call was received by the Sheriff's Office and when officers arrived to the residence, they found a four year old child that had been severely abused.  The mother, 30 year old Casey Lynn Wood was still present at the scene, but the male, her boyfriend, had fled before officers arrived.


The child was transported by Lenoir County EMS while officers investigated the matter.


Investigators determined that the young girl had been abused and never taken for medical aid.


Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram stated, "I am appalled by this crime. It makes me sick to know that someone could do what they did to this child. A four year old child can not protect themselves...but they are not supposed to have to. Children trust their parents/or caregivers and they believe they are there protectors. In this case, the child is safe now only because the suspects that did this and/or allowed it to go on without getting help are behind bars to face their charges."


Wood was arrested and charged with felony child abuse.  She is being held in the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office Detention Center in lieu of $200,000 secured bond.


Her boyfriend, 20 year old James Dean Smith was located shortly after noon on Wednesday in Greene County.  An order for his arrest was issued on the felony child abuse charge as well as for violation of parole.  He is now confined in the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office Detention Center as well, and his secured bond is set at $400,000.


Sheriff Ingram also commended those that had been involved with the investigation.  "These investigations are very hard for our staff in the emergency services field. We see a lot of crimes where victims have to go through things, but this type of crime hurts our people mentally. The law enforcement, social workers and medical staff fought through their pain and sorrow to help this child and apprehend the people who did this."


Lenoir County DSS Child Protective Services is now caring for the child.