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Tuesday
Feb012011

Mom Charged with Murder Was Probed for Child Abuse, But Not Charged

Photo Courtesy - Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Julie Schenecker, the Tampa mother who police say confessed to killing her two teenage kids last week, was investigated for possible child abuse last fall, but was not charged, according to a police report.

Schenecker, 50, is facing two counts of first-degree murder.  Holding a tissue and crying softly, the Army wife appeared in court Monday via closed circuit cameras from the Hillsborough County Jail.  Judge Walter Heinrich ordered her held without bond.

Schenecker was arrested Friday when police, responding to a call from her mother, found her covered in blood on the back porch of her home.  The woman allegedly confessed to the officers that she had shot her son, Beau, 13, and then daughter Calyx, 16, the day before because they "talked back, they were mouthy and she was tired of it," police said.

Friends have described the family as appearing normal and happy but a Tampa police report filed in November showed that Julie Schenecker had been investigated for alleged child abuse.  Police visited the Schenecker home on Nov. 6, 2010, to investigate an allegation of child abuse made by Calyx.  No charges were filed against Schenecker but, according to the police report, Schenecker acknowledged that she had hit her daughter.

Calyx told a counselor that her mother had hit her in the face when they were heading home from cross-country practice on Nov. 2, 2010, according to the police report.  Investigators said there were no visible injuries on Calyx when the report was filed four days later.

Calyx told investigators that her mom had "hit her with an open hand on her face for approximately 30 seconds," according to the report.  She said her face was red afterwards, the report noted.

Schenecker told investigators that she and her daughter had gotten into an argument after Calyx stopped at a grocery store and wouldn't show her mom what she had purchased.  Schenecker did not deny hitting Calyx.  She told police that she "backhanded her daughter three times" and her daughter "was not bruised or bleeding during the incident."

Calyx said that her sunglasses shielded her from injury.  She told police her mother had hit her so hard in the mouth a month earlier that she was bleeding, but never reported it to police.  Schenecker acknowledged that incident but said that she didn't remember Calyx bleeding, according to the report. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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