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Police: Couple Can't Be Charged With Murdering Toddler
Updated November 12, 2015 7:36 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(CLARKSVILLE) - Three-year-old Alexis Arensman's mother Cynthia Weigleb and former uncle by marriage, Joseph Manske, are charged in Alexis' February death, but why aren't they charged with murder?

Detectives say they have gathered a lot of evidence from Kosair Children's Hospital, the medical examiner, and the home where Alexis and her older sister were beaten, but they don't have enough evidence for a murder charge.

Instead, Weigleb and Manske, Weigleb's former brother-in-law and current boyfriend, are charged with neglect of a dependent causing death. During a news conference Wednesday morning, police said Alexis' body showed signs of prolonged abuse.

"There were multiple injuries all over her entire body," Major Scott Merchant, Clarksville Police Chief of Detectives, said. "We know it was an extent of time, that there had been previous abuse that had occurred."

Alexis' 4-year-old sister Bethannie also suffered multiple injuries when the injured girls were found in February, but unlike Alexis, Bethannie was still breathing. She was rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital.

Weigleb told police that Manske took the girls in a back room to punish them for not eating. Weigleb said she heard slaps and cries. She even told police that at times Manske would hit the girls so hard they would fall from the force of the blows.

Two other adults living in the home have not been charged in the case.

Police said Manske's parents cooperating with the investigation and though the children had been hurting themselves.

"They stated that a lot of times everything happens behind closed doors, and they stated that the kids self-harmed themselves and that was the excuses that [Weigleb and Manske] gave for the noises and the banging and for the kids making that kind of noises," Merchant said. "Apparently, [Manske's parents] didn't feel that it was enough to call and report to us."

Police said additional charges could be added later.

Merchant said Bethannie is recovering and is in the custody of the state. It is unclear whether she will be considered a reliable witness.



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