CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – An Orange Park woman facing two counts of child abuse is now out of jail after posting a $150,000 bond.
On Thursday night, Kristina Worley, 29, turned herself in at the Clay County jail after a judge signed a warrant for her arrest.
Worley had been under investigation for suspicion of child abuse since mid-January. Days after the investigation began, detectives said they had enough probable cause to charge Worley with two felony counts of child abuse.
According to an arrest warrant, the victims are a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. But because the warrant is so heavily redacted, it’s unclear whether Worley is the children’s biological mother.
Since Worley is out of jail on bond, News4Jax on Monday went to her Orange Park home to see whether she wanted to tell her side of the story. But her mother-in-law said Worley “says no comment."
A family member told News4Jax that the children “are doing well and readjusting.” That person said both children are seeing a psychiatrist.
Neighbors told News4Jax that Worley moved to the home with her husband, who they said is an active member of the military, several months ago.
On Jan. 13, according to the arrest warrant, Clay County deputies, the Department of Children and Families and Child Protective Investigators began questioning the 5-year-old and the 7-year-old about marks and bruises they received. Although the report is redacted, it states investigators found multiple marks on one of the children’s leg, back and arm. Following that description of what was found on the child’s body was a statement in the warrant in which investigators said they located a pink stun gun and belt on the kitchen table. The rest of the report states that investigators found dark purple and brown bruises with patterns on both children’s legs indicating they both had been struck with a belt. The bruises appeared to be three days old at the time, the report said. According to investigators, both children gave credible statements.
“Oh, my God. It’s so terrifying. It’s very sad and just breaks my heart," a neighbor told News4Jax on Monday.
The neighbor said she never really saw the children but often heard them in the backyard.
“Our kids were excited about other kids moving into the neighborhood and wanted to play with them, and we thought about letting them play for a while, but we just never really saw them," the neighbor said.
But she said she often saw Worley outside in front of her house.
“She seemed kind of shy and standoffish. She didn’t come out to greet you going by. I would walk with my kids up and down the sidewalk and she would just stay to herself," the neighbor said.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the $150,000 bond that Worley posted is a high amount for two counts of child abuse. He said a bond that high could mean investigators may have uncovered something that a judge had no choice but to set the bond at six-figures.
Now that Worley is out on bond, according to the warrant, she can’t have any contact with the children.