Mother, stepfather charged with child abuse, neglect in Norfolk

Robert Griffis, left, Destany Martin, right, were faced charges after a 2-year-old girl was taken to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters on May 25. (Images: Norfolk City Jail.)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A two-year-old girl is in critical condition, and the child’s mother and her boyfriend are facing felony charges.

Police spokesman Daniel Hudson says officers were called to Lexington Street around 7:45 a.m. Thursday for a report of an unresponsive two-year-old girl.

Police have arrested Destany Martin, 26, and Robert Griffis, 25. Both face felony charges of child abuse, child neglect and malicious wounding by stabbing.

A family member tells 10 On Your Side the child has been hospitalized and had to be revived before about three months ago.

Neighbors say the couple, who moved to Norfolk from the Jacksonville, Fla. area in recent months, kept to themselves.

One neighbor, who gave her name only as Ruth, said had she known that there was a child in danger across the street, she would have taken action herself.

“If I was in that house, and I knew a baby was in there, there would have been some trouble, believe me when I tell you.”

Another neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous lives in the same rooming house with Martin and Griffis. She said she had seen the child recently with bruises on her head and face, but never heard any crying or screaming.

Misty Mason lives down the block. The mother of five was shocked that a young mother could be charged with putting her own daughter in danger.

“A child is a gift from God. You’re here to protect them.”

Martin and Griffis are in the Norfolk jail on no bond, with a court date of May 30.