Another family member arrested in child abuse case

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Police have arrested a fifth family member in connection with the death of a 10-year-old girl last year.

Ame Deal died in July 2011 after being locked in a container.

Deal's cousin, Ammandea Joann Stoltzmann, 24, is accused of abusing Deal. According to police, Stoltzmann put a dog collar and chain on Deal and made her sleep outside overnight. She's also accused of locking the little girl in a crate, scrubbing her face with a wire brush, putting hot sauce in her mouth and watching as she was abused by others.

Stoltzmann is facing three counts of child abuse.

John Allen and his wife, Samantha Allen, both 23, confessed to placing and padlocking Ame in the box on July 12. They were left in charge of Ame that night. They were charged with first-degree murder.

Samantha Allen was the girl's aunt.

Ame's aunt, Cynthia Stoltzmann, 44, and her grandmother, Judith Deal, 62, admitted to previously confining the child in the box as punishment. They were charged with child abuse and kidnapping.

Ame's family members regularly locked her in the box as discipline for poor behavior, according to investigators. There were allegations that she was fed hot sauce, deprived of food and beaten with a board over the months before her death. Police said when Ame wouldn't pick up dog feces, it was rubbed on her and she was forced to eat it.

During the initial investigation, the family had told police that Deal and other children were playing hide-and-seek and they believed that Ame must have climbed into the storage box to hide and had accidentally suffocated.