Two arrested after police find burns on one child’s palm and signs of beating another child

BEDFORD – Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested 27-year-old Andrea Arnana and 31-year-old Jose Zepeda, of Mitchell, on two counts of battery to a person under the age of 14, and neglect of a dependent.

Arnana is also facing two counts of aiding, inducing, or causing a person to commit an offense of neglect of a dependent.

Andrea Arnana

According to a probable cause affidavit, on November 2, 2022, Lawrence County Dispatch received a call from a male requesting to speak to an officer about two children ages 12 and 13 being abused at a home in the 1000 block of Art Gallery Road. 

Jose Zepeda

The caller reported seeing burn marks on one of the child’s hands. The child told police he was held down by Arnana while Zepeda burned him. Once released the child went to the sink and ran cold water over the injury. The incident left a burn on the palm of the child.

A medical examination was performed on the child at IU Bedford Hospital. The doctor reported the burn 5 mm in shape was healing.

Zepeda is also accused of kicking one of the boys in the back to wake him, pulling him into the kitchen by his hair to finish dishes, and then making him squat against a wall, for not completing his chores.

He is also accused of striking the child in the head causing the child to pass out.

Zepeda is alleged to have struck the child on the top of his hands with a paddle causing the child’s fingers to be fractured. He is also accused of spanking the child causing him to bleed from the injuries.

The information was forwarded to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office along with photos of the injuries and warrants were issued for their arrests.