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Panama City woman arrested on major child abuse charges

PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB) — A Panama City woman was arrested for child abuse by willful torture in the form of starvation, child abuse resulting in mental injury, and child abuse by aggravated battery, according to the Panama City Police Department.

Throughout the investigation, they found that Terri Lynn Manning, 49, gained custody of the child eight years ago and that the child had been starved for the duration of her life.

Manning reportedly took the child to multiple doctors and specialists where she misled them of the child’s condition.

As a result of the starvation and false information given to medical professionals, the child was subjected to many invasive medical procedures and surgeries, according to the report.

Over several years, Manning had caused the child to believe that she had medical issues that were made up.

In May 2021, the Department of Children and Families notified detectives with the Panama City Police Department of an abuse report filed alleging medical neglect of a 9-year-old child, authorities said.

After receiving medical records that validated the abuse report, DCF investigators were able to shelter the child to prevent any further abuse while the investigation continued.

After evaluating the child, a specialist determined that the ongoing abuse resulted in mental injury, as defined by Florida statue.

Authorities said since the child’s removal from Manning’s care, her health has improved significantly and she is recovering.

Manning is being held on a $1 million bond.

Anyone having information in this case is urged to call the Panama City Police Department at 850-872-3100, or they can report tips anonymously via smartphone by downloading the “Panama City PD” Tip411 app from the iOS or Google Play stores.

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