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Parents charged in death of 8-year-old Elk River girl

Police say a 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman from Elk River were arrested Friday night.
Credit: KARE
An Elk River couple is in custody for the death of an 8-year-old girl.

ELK RIVER, Minn. — Two parents have been charged in the murder of an 8-year-old girl.

Brett Hallow, 30, and Sarah Hallow, 28, are both charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.

Police say the child died at The Depot at Elk River Station apartment complex in the southern end of the city on Thursday. Elk River police officers were called there shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday on a report that the girl had been found unresponsive in a bathtub. 

When officers arrived they saw Sarah attempting chest compressions, officials said.

Credit: KARE
Elk River police were called to the The Depot at Elk River Station apartment complex Thursday afternoon, where they found an 8-year-old girl unresponsive.

Officers attempted to revive the girl but she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Based on her condition, officers believed the girl had been dead for some time, police said. Officers said they observed lacerations, bruising and missing hair on the girl's body, the complaint reads.

Police said there was no water in the tub, according to prosecutors.

Officers said the bathroom seemed to have been cleaned recently, and investigators from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension examined the area and found there had been blood in the bathroom, according to the complaint.

Sarah told police the girl said she was going to take a shower and then 40 minutes later she found her face down on the tub in inches of water, prosecutors said.

Brett told police he does not recall the events very well.

Investigators interviewed the Hallow's 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.

The son said she had heard the girl screaming on the day of her death, the complaint states.

The children told investigators that their parents would tie the girl with a belt and sweatshirt in a red sleeping bag sometimes as a punishment, the complaint reads.

The girl was later identified as Autumn Hallow, and her death has been ruled a homicide, said Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott in the news release. 

Police say Brett and Sarah were arrested Friday night.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting in the investigation. 

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