Waitress helps police make child abuse arrests

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Friday, March 8, 2019
Waitress helps police make child abuse arrests
Jordan Cooper noticed a child in the restaurant covered in bruises and knew she had to take action.

PADUCAH, Kentucky -- A Kentucky woman is being praised after helping a Tennessee police department arrest two parents for child abuse.

WPSD reports that during Jordan Cooper's shift waiting tables at Olive Garden, she and her coworkers noticed something unusual about a family they had just seated.

The family had two children, one only a year old.

"I first walked around to the baby. She looked at me with a face that said 'help'," Cooper said.

She continued, saying "I can't even describe to you how bad she looked...and how or why nobody noticed it."

Cooper said the little girl had bruises all over her face, as if she had been badly beat.

Cooper, an expecting mother, instantly went into action. She pretended to take a photo for another table, while secretly capturing a photo of the family.

The parents of the bruised girl started to get suspicious, trying to quickly pay their check.

Cooper followed them outside, taking down their license plate number and calling 911.

Cooper shared the photo she took online, desperate for people on Facebook to help her track the parents down.

Her post was shared more than 14,000 times, prompting others to start digging as well.

Aaron Caldwell, one of Cooper's childhood friends, is a 911 dispatcher. He used his resources to run all the information they had on the parents to find their identities.

Caldwell used his successful digging to find the identity of the man in the photo. He then contacted the Paris Police Department in Tennessee, where the man lived.

Caldwell took his digging even further, finding the woman in the photo through social media. She ended up being the man in question's girlfriend, who lived in Illinois.

The Paris Police Department got back to him about 20 minutes later. They were able to remove the two children from the home and arrested Mark Lee Pierce and Jessica Woodsworth on charges of aggravated child abuse.

Both suspects are now in jail, with bonds set at $200,000 each.

Cooper said that saving the children from their situation changed her life, saying, "I'm so glad that I did, because she could still be getting hands put on her."