2 Women Arrested In ‘Unbearable Abuse’ Of 5-Year-Old Boy


Starkeisha Brown (left) Krystal Matthews (right wearing a white shirt)


2 Women Arrested In ‘Unbearable Abuse’ Of 5-Year-Old Boy

By Ari B. Bloomekatz and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
Sunday, June 15, 2008

The mother of a 5-year-old-boy and her live-in girlfriend have been arrested in connection with what authorities describe as "unbearable physical and psychological abuse" of the child, police said Saturday.

The mother, Starkeisha Brown, 24, turned herself in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Division station late Friday night after officers made a public plea for help in finding the women and released their pictures. Brown was being held without bail on charges of torture.

The other woman, Krystal Matthews, 21, was arrested Saturday by detectives when she showed up for her appointment at the county Department of Children and Family Services. She was being held on $100,000 bail on charges of willful harm or injury to a child.

Police said both women have a history of violence.

The boy, who was in guarded condition at a local hospital, was rescued Monday by a stranger who found him abandoned and called authorities.

On that same day, the two women had an appointment with the Department of Children and Family Services and had brought the healthy child of a mutual friend and tried to pass him off as Brown’s son.

Police said the women routinely beat the boy, forced him to put his hands on a hot stove, burned his body and genitals with cigarettes and often would not let him eat or drink.

At a news conference Friday, LAPD Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell said that because of the burns from the stove, the boy no longer can open his hands.

Lt. Vincent Neglia of the LAPD’s Abused Child Unit said in a statement Saturday that the abuse was "akin to a level of torture we hope our military personnel would never encounter."

Residents in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where the boy lived said Saturday that they were shocked to hear of the child’s treatment and disgusted by the abuse allegations against the mother and girlfriend.

"I never knew a parent could do something like this. It was just a shock," said Mary Williams, 68, who lives in an apartment complex adjacent to where neighbors said Brown and Matthews live in the 11000 block of Figueroa Street.

Williams’ 9-year-old grandson saw the boy often, and occasionally the two played together.

"How could you just do this and run off and leave him?" she said. "I hurt for that baby."

Another neighbor said, "If I [had known] anything, they would’ve been caught a long time ago."

The predominantly African American and Latino neighborhood is northwest of the intersection of the 110 and 105 freeways. The street scape is dominated by modest apartment complexes and single-story homes, auto body and machine shops, liquor stores and small motels. Across the street from the women’s home is Holy Rock Baptist Church and an Ultra Oil gas station.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in the neighborhood, in the 90061 ZIP Code, is nearly triple the national average, and about 10% of the population are homeowners.



  1. Joseph

    Aside from being some nasty looking chicks they have some nasty behaviors. It’s funny how people do similar things when they abuse children like the cigarette burns on the body on placing hands or body parts on hot objects or in hot water.

  2. Littebear

    No wonder dark men dont want dark women lol ugly.

  3. Chance


    Yeah many child abusers do practice similar behaviors of torture on the children they abuse. That is a good observation.

  4. Denise

    Littebear, you are ridiculous. How does their skin color correlate with their actions. You are obviously immature, or in dire need of attention. I believe that you post these same ignorant comments on YouTube. You obviously have an obsession with skin color, to the point that you judge people’s actions based on it.These women are ignorant period, if they were white as paste, their actions are ugly and disgraceful. There are plenty of dark men who like dark women. You said lol. after your remarks, which clearly state your maturity level. Grow up little boy, and be a man.Stop acting like a child.

    The alleged actions of these women,are beyond words, if they are found guilty for this crime, they should rot in jail.

  5. Chance

    I agree Denise the women’s race has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of women from other ethnic groups who do the samething and make the news. Many white women, Hispanic women and women from other ethnic groups do the samething and end up in the news.

  6. Walter Garces

    The information on this site is poorly written, worded, explained and incorrect. Most of what is written is your own personal opinion with no scientific study or research nor a link is probided to such a proof positive study or research backing your claims. All you’ve done was basically and blindly write out your assumptions as to why black people are the way they are and you’ve done so while wearing rose tinted glasses the entire time. You do not explain why blacks at times have little to no control over behaving violently and why the majority of inmates at any given U.S. prison are black or why most black men are unmotivated to work and become productive contributors to society. All you mention is they get more phone numbers than any other race of men, and again, with no scientific evidence backing your claim. Your claims, lack of evidence and bias is evident which makes you sound rather uneducated and racist. Sorry to have to put it to you this way, but it’s what I see here. Before you judge me think about this, you don’t know anything about me, so tread lightly. What I am just might surprise you. Thank you for reading.

    Walter Garces

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