A 13-year-old girl only being identified by the initials I.D. ran to a neighbor’s house with a shock collar in her hand. The neighbor, Karen Villec said it happened on March 1 and that at first, she thought the girl with the shock collar meant that her dog was loose.
“I open the door and she hands me this dog collar. And I go, ‘Is your dog loose?’ Then, the girl tells her, ‘No, they shocked me! They shocked me!’ And she put up her neck and I saw the two marks from the dog collar”. Ms. Villec said the dog collar was still vibrating in I.D.’s hand.
Kelly Mennig, 42; Rebecca Mennig, 22; and Rachel Mennig, 20, all of the 100 block of Harvard Avenue in Camden County, New Jersey face charges in connection with the girl’s alleged treatment. Their relationship to I.D. was redacted from the affidavit but all are described as “having a legal duty for the care” of a child identified by the initials I.D.
Not only was this child shocked by a shock collar for years, but she was also starved and had very little to wear. Villec says she brought the girl inside her home and had her husband call the police.
“I was horrified. My husband and I haven’t been able to sleep for days on end. You know, what can we do for this poor little girl?”. Police say the girl was taken to Jefferson Hospital in Stratford for treatment, and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency removed her from the home. Villec says the police never brought the girl back after taking her to the hospital and that the girl is now in foster care.
It is unclear what relation the three women are to the girl. Are they biological family? Was she adopted? How did the girl get “three legal guardians” that treated her like that? What took so long for anyone to find out? Authorities are not saying.
Kelly, Rachel, and Rebecca Mennig deny forcing I.D. to wear the shock collar and deny depriving the girl of food and clothes. Villec said that I.D. was very skinny though all of the women that were supposed to be caring for the girl are overweight.
Detectives say that another resident of the Mennig home told them that the dog collar was forced on the girl as punishment when she was “bad”. Villec says she suspected the home was an unpleasant environment, but never imagined this. “You can hear in the winter, through the windows, always yelling and fighting,” said Villec.
Police say, “According to this witness, he/she explained that he/she has observed the dog shock collar used on I.D. numerous times in the past as a form of punishment when she acts bad. It was explained that he/she has witnessed I.D. deprived of food and amenities”.
Jim Walsh first reported this story in the Cherry Hill Courier, Stratford women accused of shocking girl with dog collar. During an interview at the Camden County Child Advocacy Center, the girl described multiple incidents where each of the women allegedly put the electric collar on her neck and shocked her as a form of punishment. The child asserted the abuse began when she was a 9-year-old in fourth grade, although the charges against the Mennigs cover a period from October 2018 to March 1 of this year. She also described times when the Mennigs deprived her “of the appropriate amounts of food and clothing amenities”. The girl has been removed from the home by the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency. A Facebook page for Rachel Mennig describes her as a babysitter, while one for Kelly Mennig, 42, says she is a salesperson for a line of scented candles and soaps. Both pages on Tuesday included multiple messages decrying their alleged behavior.
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