Former neighbors of a couple accused of fatally beating a 10-year-old girl say they heard abuse and reported it to police and human services officials.

Julio and Sharon Carrillo were ordered held Wednesday on $500,000 bail during their first court appearance. They’re charged with murder in the death of Sharon Carrillo’s 10-year-old daughter, Marrissa Kennedy.

The Carrillos told police they’d beaten the girl for months and they tried to make it appear her death was an accident.

A prosecutor suggested Wednesday that the beatings amounted to “torture.”

Attorneys for the couple said they intended to look into the validity of their alleged confessions.

A former neighbor said someone “dropped the ball.” A spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Health and Human services didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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