Family members indicted in 10-year-old's deathPosted: Updated:
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced the indictments of four adult relatives of 10-year-old Ame Deal, who died last month after being locked in a storage box.
Ame's cousins John Allen, 23, and Samantha Allen, 23, are charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit child abuse and multiple counts of child abuse.
Ame's grandmother, Judith Deal, 72, and Ame's aunt Cynthia Stoltzmannn, 44, are charged with multiple counts of child abuse.
According to court records, John Allen locked Ame in a storage box on July 11, as his wife Samantha stood by and watched.
Ame was being punished because she wanted a Popsicle, investigators said.
Ame's death was originally reported as a tragic accident from playing hide-and-seek.
Investigators said that Ame had been abused for years, being forced to walk barefoot down the hot street, forced to eat hot sauce, and forced to sleep in a shower stall.
Montgomery said the case should send a message to everyone, that if they see a child being abused they need to get involved
"You are not being nosy or intrusive if you file a report with CPS or law enforcement," said Montgomery. "Whatever personal discomfort you might feel over getting involved that you think is some other family's business, pales in comparison to a lifetime of regret of failing to report what led to the death of a child."
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