Panama City woman arrested after reportedly abusing her granddaughter for nearly a decade

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A Panama City women is behind bars and is being held on a $1,000,000 bond after police said she abused a child for nearly a decade.

On Thursday, the Panama City Police Department announced the arrest of 49-year-old Tammi Lynn Manning on three charges related to child abuse.

Manning may seem familiar because she’s known for feeding the homeless in the community.

Authorities said the Department of Child and Family Services notified them of an alleged abuse and medical neglect of a 9-year-old child.

Panama City Police only found out about the case a month ago and police said DCF investigators moved quickly to get the victim out of the suspect’s home.

Authorities said detectives met with DCF investigators and were made aware of a series of medical records associated with the child.

Over the last month, authorities said they have combed through years of records and obtained a search warrant on Manning’s home.

Through the investigation, detectives learned Manning gained custody of the child about 8 years ago and that the child had been starved her entire life.

“As I read this information, having a parent who has children and grandchildren, this is heartbreaking to me that a child would have to go through this type of mental and physical abuse by someone who they determine — who they look up to as a caregiver,” said Panama City Police Public Information Officer, Ken McVay. “It’s just unfathomable to me.”

According to an arrest report obtained by News 13, the victim is Manning’s granddaughter. The report goes on to say Manning took the child to several doctors appointments reporting symptoms that could not be verified by doctors.

It also said the victim was subject to multiple unnecessary procedures including the insertion of a feeding tube and that the continuous treatments left the child permanently disfigured.

This is isn’t the first time Manning has been on DCF’s radar. According to a DCF abuse report made back in 2017, her granddaughter told hospital staff she was quote “starving to death” and that the suspect quote “doesn’t like it when I eat.”

However, the case was originally closed because authorities said Manning mislead DCF investigators.

The physician who monitors the child’s feeding tube said in a sworn statement that he believes the child abuse is a case of Munchausen by proxy.

Officials said since the child was removed from Manning’s care, there has been significant improvement in her health.

Manning was arrested on Wednesday and now faces three charges: child abuse by willful torture in the form of starvation, child abuse by aggravated battery and child abuse resulting in mental injury.

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