Police reports: Signs of abuse before girl’s death

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

(July 24, 2017)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Police reports outline a pattern of alleged abuse at the Kalamazoo home where a 4-year-old girl died after being wrapped in a blanket and duct tape.

Kelly Ballinger, 33, and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Matthew Longenecker, each face charges of murder and child abuse in the death of Ballinger’s daughter, Desaray Thompson.

Dispatch recordings 24 Hour News 8 obtained Monday through the Freedom of Information Act show that shortly after 5 a.m. on July 9, someone called 911 to report a little girl not breathing on Mt. Olivet Road north of Parchmount Avenue.

“We need an ambulance immediately. … A little girl is not breathing,” the caller said. “It’s a 4-year-old little girl and she acts like she’s dead.”

Police reports say first responders started CPR immediately. Resuscitation efforts continued for nearly an hour, but weren’t successful.

First responders said they found the 4-year-old stiff to touch, pale and almost white. Responding officers also reported bruising around her eyes, as well as a cut and bruising on her forehead.

According to police records, the couple told investigators they would discipline Desaray because she was acting out over jealousy of a new baby. They allegedly said their way of disciplining her was to wrap her in a blanket like swaddling and duct tape the blanket in place so she couldn’t break free at night.

They apparently said that the night before Desaray died, they wrapped her up the same way they had done before. When Ballinger checked on Desaray later, she wasn’t breathing.

Reports from multiple officers on scene indicate Ballinger and Longenecker showed signs of being on meth. Their emotions were erratic, and some officers said they were showing “signs of fake concern.”

If convicted, the two could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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