According to Tuesday night's newscast on WPSD-TV Channel 6 in Paducah, the Sunday evening actions of an alert restaurant waitress in Paducah led to the arrest Monday in Paris of a couple on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect.


Mark Lee Pierce, 33, and Jessica Woodworth, 36, both of 422 N. Brewer St. in Paris were arrested by Paris Police officers and booked into the Henry County jail. As of Tuesday night, they remained there, each in lieu of $200,000 bond. They are scheduled to appear March 14 in General Sessions Court. Two children were removed from the home, according to WPSD.

The TV station reported that Pierce, Woodworth and their two children came into Olive Garden to eat Sunday evening, and waitress Jordan Cooper and her co-workers noticed something about the younger child who she said was just a year or two old.

Her Facebook post later that evening said the baby “was severely beaten in the face. Her face was black and blue all over. The guy … was force feeding her food down her throat and grabbing her by her shirt and getting in her face. …”

WPSD quoted Cooper as saying, “She looked at me with a face that said help. … I can't even describe to you how bad she looked, and how and why nobody noticed it.”

Cooper was able to get photos of the father and the baby, and write down their car description and license number. She called Paducah authorities, then sent out a Facebook post, asking for help in tracking down this family.

WPSD reported the post was shared 49,000 times, and one friend was Aaron Caldwell, a 911 dispatcher in Metropolis, Ill., who traced the couple to Paris and contacted the Paris Police Department, which made the arrests.

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