Neighbor of abused child claims she heard slamming on walls

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by Christine LaCroix

azfamily.com

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 5:44 PM

PHOENIX -- The woman who lived next door to a Phoenix couple accused of an egregious case of child abuse claims she heard slamming on the walls of the apartment on a nightly basis.

“I heard slamming on the walls, high up, almost like they were throwing that girl,” Jo Portillo said.

Although Portillo said she never saw any signs of child abuse on 4-year-old Taryn Buckman, she broke down in tears thinking that maybe she had heard the child being abused.

The little girl died at Phoenix Children's Hospital after being brutally beaten over a six-day period.

According to police documents, the child had cuts, bruises, burns, fractured ribs and pieces of flesh missing from her body.

She arrived at the hospital unconscious and was reported brain dead before eventually succumbing to her injuries.

Taryn's mother, Ashley Buckman, and her boyfriend, James Edwards, are now the focus of a homicide investigation, according to Phoenix police.

The couple appeared in court early Friday morning on initial charges of child abuse and failure to protect a child.

Buckman proclaimed her innocence.

“If I show my attorney proof of evidence that I was not the cause of that, will that help me out?” she asked the judge. “I have threats on my phone from the person who did it.”

Buckman and Edwards have a 5-month old daughter together. That child is currently in CPS custody.

Buckman and Edwards remain in the Lower Buckeye Jail.

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