Heilman Chavarria hit 5-year-old with belt while mom covered bruises with makeup, police say

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Two people have been arrested in suburban West Palm Beach, accused of abusing a 5-year-old girl.

On Monday, police arrested Heilman Chavarria, 25. Last week, they arrested the girl's mother, 24-year-old Betty Shell. Both are charged with aggravated child abuse.

According to a police report, the girl told a deputy she had been hit by Chavarria -- also known as "Junior" -- with a belt.

The detective investigating the case said the girl had a bruise on her face, but it was covered up by makeup. She also was bruised on her arms, legs, back, stomach and buttocks, the report states.

According to the report, Chavarria told investigators he "popped" the girl on her hand because she was touching electrical cords, and hit her with a belt, adding "she got a whooping last night."

The girl told investigators she had marks everywhere from Chavarria hitting her. She also stated her mother often applied makeup to her face to cover up the bruises.

The child also added that Chavarria grabbed her by her ears and threw her, police said. A doctor estimated she had about 40 to 50 marks on her.

Chavarria is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail. Shell was released on March 26 on $25,000 bond.

The report does not indicate who currently has custody of the child.

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