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Two former staff members of Gingerbread House Preschool have been charged on misdemeanor child abuse counts, according to the Roanoke Rapids Police Department.

Chief Bobby Martin said this morning physical abuse is an element of the misdemeanor child abuse count.

“There were signs that some sort of abuse had taken place that the parents saw on their children,” he said. “We were made aware after they (parents) discovered bruising and injuries of that sort.”

The chief declined comment on how the alleged abuse was carried out.

In the gallery, Pearson, left, and Ulrich

Martin said there are three other complaints currently under investigation. He declined comment on whether the two people currently facing charges — Tyesha Pearson and Olivia Ulrich — are also under investigation in the three remaining complaints. “I want us to be able to investigate each complaint thoroughly before we elaborate on major details of this case.” 

Both of the women charged were former employees of the preschool. 

Pearson was arrested and charged on December 6 and Ulrich was arrested and charged Tuesday, Martin said.

In a statement this morning, Martin said the Criminal Investigation Division of the police department launched an investigation November 13 after receiving a complaint of child abuse at the facility.

Investigator M. Worrell lodged the charges. 

Pearson received a $1,000 bond and Ulrich a $2,000 bond. Both have February 5 court dates.

Martin said in the statement, “The investigation will continue until all complaints have been investigated and cleared.”

The police department has been working with the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education in this investigation.

Martin said the police department is following up on the remaining complaints.