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Parents cut up crying tot and fed her to dogs; They confess to dissolving part of body in battery acid.

A couple killed their baby daughter and fed parts of her body to dogs because she wouldn't stop crying.

They cut off 16-month-old Onowanique Tribblet's limbs and soaked her torso in a tub of battery acid for several weeks to dissolve it.

Her hands, feet and forearm were fried in a pan and left to be eaten by dogs and other animals.

And her head was put in a blender which had been borrowed from neighbours.

Last night, detectives were still searching for Onowanique's remains.

But they fear most of them will never be found.

Details of the killing emerged yesterday as her parents appeared in court in Chicago.

Everett Johnson and pregnant Joan Tribblet, who have three other children, confessed to murdering Onowanique in their flat in December.

They said they were frustrated by her crying and because she would not sleep through the night.

The couple are charged with murder and concealing a killing, and face the death penalty.

Police say the parents either battered or strangled the toddler and then dismembered her.

Johnson, 29, and 27-year-old Tribblet were arrested after Onowanique's concerned maternal grandmother reported her missing.

She told police she didn't believe her daughter's story that the girl was being looked after by another relative.

Police swooped on the couple's home in the tough West Side area of Chicago and took them in for questioning.

After several hours, Johnson and Tribblet broke down and confessed.

Detectives also began door-to-door enquiries in another part of the city where the family used to live before starting a search for the child's remains.

Detective Robert Cornfield said: "No one can recall a more horrific or unspeakable case than this. The body was dissolved in a container of battery acid for four to six weeks."

Thomas Epach, prosecuting, told the court: "There were portions that had been cooked up that Johnson then basically distributed at another location so that dogs and vermin would get the child."

Tribblet shifted uncomfortably in the dock and kept her head down and her eyes closed. Johnson stood expressionless during the hearing.

Judge William Wise described the killing as "despicable" and turned down their request for bail. They are now awaiting trial.

Yesterday, stunned neighbours gathered on street corners after hearing of the killing.

One, LeRoy Williams, said: "We all feel sick to our stomachs. That poor baby - I just can't imagine what those parents were thinking.

"You used to see the family around but you don't stop to count how many kids there are."

Leah Stewart, who lived next door to the couple before they recently moved, said Onowanique "wasn't any bigger than a handbag" when she last saw her.

She added: "We saw all the other kids and we didn't see her. They told us she was with her grandparents."

The couple's three other children - a nine-month-old girl, a boy of three and a six-year-old girl - are being cared for by an aunt.

One detective said: "This was a deliberate and protracted attempt to destroy every bit of evidence.

"For four to six weeks that poor baby's remains were being dissolved in acid.

"Other parts had been chopped up, fried, fed to animals or put in a blender.

"This is sick, sick, sick. What happened to this baby is unspeakable."

Meanwhile, jurors in another part of Chicago were considering the death penalty for a man who killed his ex- girlfriend and cut her unborn child out of her womb, before murdering her two other children.

Lavern Ward, 26, was found guilty of murdering Debra Evans, 28, and her 10- year-old daughter, Samantha

Her seven-year-old son, Joshua, was abducted and later found stabbed to death.

The baby who was cut from the uterus miraculously survived the killing spree in November 1995 and is now being cared for by relatives.

At the time, detectives said it was the most horrific case they had worked on.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 16, 1998
Words:650
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