She fled from what she described as an abusive household several years ago. I guarantee you that she did NOT 'leave her daughter behind' FATHER WAS GIVEN CUSTODY-- The Fathers Rights Movement to KILL, Maim, Torture and to PUNISH MOTHER FOR LEAVING-- I will take you children-- the FATHERS RIGHTS en re Court -- make that threat a reality.
Shirley Deal fled from what she described as an abusive household several years ago. The child she left behind perished in the same household.
Four people were arrested Thursday in the July 12 death of Ame Deal. Phoenix police say the girl had been placed inside a padlocked, plastic footlocker for punishment after months of other abuse by adults she was living with.
Shirley Deal, 38, now lives in Iola, Kan. She said she didn't learn about Ame's death until Friday when a friend notified her and directed her to The Arizona Republic's web page.
"I read the newspaper, and it made me so upset," she told the Republic. "For what they did to my daughter, they need to be treated the same way."
Deal said she knows three of the four suspects who lived in a rental house with her ex-husband David Deal, who hasn't been charged in the case.
Court records list David Deal on Ame's birth certificate as her biological father, but Shirley Deal said she's unsure if he actually is.
She said she and David Deal married in 1996. They lived in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas, where they shared a home with David Deal's mother and sister.
Shirley Deal claimed she was abused by her relatives and fled alone to Kansas, where she now lives with another man.
She said David Deal and his family lived for a short time in Utah before relocating to Phoenix about a year ago.
Ame Deal was found dead in the plastic container in the living room of the rental house, authorities said. Police said family members told them Ame Deal and other children in her extended family had been playing hide and seek, and they believed Ame must have climbed into the box to hide and accidentally suffocated.
However, detectives said they're now treating the death as a homicide after determining the child had been placed in the box as punishment for taking a frozen treat from a refrigerator.
Investigators said the girl apparently had been put in the box at least five times in recent months for misbehaving. She also had been beaten with a wooden paddle and been forced to swallow hot sauce and eat dog feces, authorities said.
A judge set all their preliminary hearings for Aug. 8. It was unclear Saturday whether any of the four suspects had attorneys yet.
At their initial court appearances Thursday, the Allens were ordered held on $1 million cash bond apiece. Bail for Stoltzmann and Judith Deal was set at $500,000 each.
"They just need to go to jail for life or get lethal injection," Shirley Deal said. "That's what they need because of what they did to my 10-year-old baby. My baby!"
The Allens are married, and Sammantha Allen is the girl's aunt. Police said the couple acknowledged putting Ame in the box and padlocking it on July 12.
Stoltzmann is the girl's paternal aunt and legal guardian, and Deal is her grandmother who was homeschooling Ame and the other children who lived in the house.
In custody are Judith Deal, 72, Cynthia Stoltzmann, 44, and John and Sammantha Allen, both 23. Police said the Allens are facing first-degree murder charges, while Stoltzmann and Deal face charges of child abuse and kidnapping.
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Police said the girl slept on the floor of a stall shower in the home with no blanket or pillow as a disciplinary measure for bed wetting.