FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A man has been charged in Marion County after he allegedly hit and left scratches and bruises on a five-year-old girl.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Fairmont Police Department, on Nov. 4, 2021, officers took a report of child abuse that occurred at a residence on Speedway Avenue in October of that same year.

Elijah Haynes

The caller had made a report to the Department of Health and Human Resources “after observing scratches, bruises and a black eye on the face” of a 5-year-old girl and suspected Elijah Ray, 24, of Charleston, officers said.

An interview was later performed by members of the Child Advocacy Center, and the child stated that Ray “was mean to her,” and that “he hit her,” according to the complaint.

When interviewers asked the victim how many times Ray had struck her, she said that “it was a hand slap” and he had done it “a couple of times”; the girl told interviewers that Ray once “shoved her under a pillow and she couldn’t breathe,” officers said.

Ray has been charged with two counts of child abuse. He is being held in South Central Regional Jail.