A beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl sitting with her mother. That's the image Shirley Deal has burned into her memory, and sadly it is some of the last moments she'll ever share with her daughter, Ame."I trusted them, with all my heart, and now it's broken. It ain't never coming back," said Deal.
After years of hoping she would again see Ame , Shirley Deal found out on Facebook her daughter was dead, and the family that Deal thought was caring for her were the ones accused of her murder."I'm not going to be done with it until something is done. They better stay in jail, they better be in prison for life. You're messing with a baby, she was not a baby, but she was my baby," said Deal.
Ame's paternal grandmother, Judith Deal, and her aunt, Cynthia Stoltzmann, are accused of abusing Ame. Investigators said they punished her with exercise in the heat, hot sauce in her mouth and even forced Ame to sleep without any bedding in a shower stall.
However, investigators said it was Stoltzman's daughter, Samantha Allen, and son-in-law, John Allen, who forced Ame into a small box as punishment the night of her death."She wanted a popsicle, she got a popsicle and they put her in a foot locker, in 103-degree temperature," said Shirley Deal.
Deal claims the family had abused her as well."They hit me, they abused me," said Shirley Deal.
In fact, Deal says it was during a visit to see Ame's father and grandmother that she was attacked. And when she tried to leave, they refused to let her take Ame, threatening her when she tried."He promised me I could see her. I never seen her in six years and it feels like it's my fault and everybody says, no, it's not your fault," said Shirley Deal.
Samantha Allen and her husband, John, are both facing first-degree murder charges, while Ame's aunt and grandmother are facing kidnapping and child abuse charges.
Police records show Ame's father, David, also lived in the home, but he has not been charged in connection with her abuse or death.
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