Grandfather of abused girl speaks out


BARRY COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The grandfather of a three-year-old Barry County girl who was badly beaten is speaking out about the condition of his young granddaughter.

Police say the child was abused by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend over a long period of time.

Kiel Bolser is a proud grandfather absolutely devastated over the abuse of his beloved granddaughter. He says he cared for the child often and never saw signs of abuse. Bolser says the incident came as a shock.

“Sophie’s always been very, very happy and smart for her age,” said Bolser. “She’s been a real joy to our lives.”

Bolser says Sophia is recovering in the hospital now. Police say Karol Blanchard and her boyfriend John Munro beat her over a twelve hour period in April, using a belt and punching and slapping the young girl. You can find Newschannel 3's previous reporting on the case here;

According to CPS documents, Munro was the aggressor, leaving Sophia with bruises on her head and arms.

“I had heard that she was beaten so badly her eyes were both swolled shut,” said Bolser.

Munro and Blanchard have both been charged with child abuse. Investigators say Blanchard let the beatings happen.

“I’m upset with her, I’m sure she’s upset with herself,” said Bolser. “I don’t believe she’s this kind of person.”

Police say s Blanchard and Munro admitted to being on drugs when authorities came to pick Sophia up.

Bolser says he wants his granddaughter to have a normal future.

“I just want everything to be back to normal,” said Bolser, “and I know that’s possibly not going to happen.”

He hopes his granddaughter will soon be back with family and out of the state’s care.

Newschannel 3 spoke to lawyers and family members about what will happen to the girl after she receives medical treatment. The answer to that is not yet clear, but at least one family member plans to fight for custody.

Sophia’s mother remains in the Barry County Jail.

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