Ray County Prosecutor Danielle Rogers filed child abuse charges Friday against a pair of Richmond residents. Dennis Matthews, 24, and Rebecca Matthews, 23, are accused of physically injuring their three-week-old child, Aprhil Matthews, in August. An autopsy determined the cause of death was “blunt force trauma to the chest with internal bleeding.” An investigator with the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team said Aprhil was placed in her crib at 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 and was found dead the next morning. When interviewed by authorities, the Matthews deny causing harm to their daughter. Both are being held in lieu of $500,000.

Press Release from the Richmond Police Department (released at 9:00 a.m.)

On August 18th, 2012 officers from the Richmond Police Department along with Richmond Fire and Ray County Ambulance were sent to a residence on Southview Drive due to an unresponsive 3 week old child. The child was pronounced deceased at the scene and investigation was immediately conducted by the Richmond Police Department and the State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) from the Missouri Department of Social Services. An autopsy indicated that the child’s death was due to blunt force trauma to the chest with internal bleeding.

An extensive two month investigation was conducted by Investigators from the Richmond Police Department and STAT and on October 19th, 2012 the Ray County Prosecutor’s Office charged both Dennis J. Matthews, 24, and Rebecca A. Matthews, 23, both of Richmond, with Class A felony of abuse of a child resulting in death (of their 3 week old child Aprhil Matthews). Both were subsequently arrested by the Ray County Sheriff’s Department and Richmond Police Department on October 19th, 2012 and transported to the Ray County Jail.

Both remain in custody on a $500,000.00 cash only bond.