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Ame Deal murder: 10-year-old’s aunt pleads guilty to child abuse

Ame Deal murder: 10-year-old’s aunt pleads guilty to child abuse, Cynthia Stoltzmann, 45, pleaded guilty in a Maricopa County, Ariz. courtroom on April 20 to two counts of child abuse and one count of attempted child abuse. Stoltzmann, the aunt of 10-year-old Ame Deal, is one of four family members involved in the July 2011 suffocation death of Ame Deal, a beautiful little girl who died after being padlocked inside a foot locker as her punishment for taking a popsicle out of the family refrigerator.

Ame was forced to stay in the plastic foot locker overnight, and was discovered deceased the next morning, according to The Daily Mail.

In addition to Stoltzmann, also arrested in the abuse and death of young Ame Deal were Ame’s grandma, Judith Deal, 62, and two cousins, John and Samantha Allen, both 23.

The cousins, Samantha Allen and John Allen were charged with the 10-year-old’s first-degree murder.

Ame’s grandmother has been charged with child abuse and kidnapping.

The list of atrocities heaped upon little Ame read like they came straight from the pages of a horror novel.

Although Ame’s aunt wasn’t charged with murder, her involvement in abusing the little girl included “throwing Deal into a cold swimming pool several months before the girl died and forcing her head underwater.”

After lying to investigators originally that Ame crawled into the box herself while playing hide-and-seek, other family members came forward eventually to confess that the box was often used to punish Ame.

Reportedly, Ame was padlocked in the footlocker on numerous occasions by her guardians, “who would throw the box around with her inside.”

She was also made to walk barefoot outside in the searing heat and was often was forced to sleep in the shower as punishment for wetting the bed.

Ame was one of at least a dozen children being brought up in a Phoenix home strewn with rubbish, where they would often sleep in a series of tents in the garden.

Stoltzmann also was accused of once sitting on the footlocker while Ame was inside the plastic box ….

On the day she died, Ame was forced to run around in the 103 degree heat outside before being locked inside the box as her relatives watched.

Sweating profusely, she was then squeezed into the footlocker, which was padlocked shut.

The torture and abuse of Ame Deal at the hands of her relatives was epic.

Charges against one of her relatives had to be dropped last week due to lack of evidence; but those accusations included “scrubbing Deal's face with a wire brush as punishment for lying, kicking her in the face while she was on the ground, putting hot sauce in her mouth and spanking her with a belt.”

Neighbors often heard screaming coming from inside Ame’s house.

Ame’s neighbors also witnessed children living in that house roaming the streets outside until the early morning hours. Neighbors said that the kids “often had little or no clothes on, sometimes wearing no diaper or shoes.”

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