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Mother's Boyfriend arrested for Child's Murder
Saturday, 04 June 2011

Yuma, Arizona - On Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 8:40 am, the Yuma Police & Fire Departments responded to 511 East County Club Drive in reference to a non-responsive baby.

Upon arrival responders located Danielle Martinez, a 1 year old female, not breathing and without a pulse. She was transported to the Yuma Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead.

The mother, Sonia Sepulveda, 22 years old was not at home at the time of the incident. Her boyfriend, Victor Noriega, 29 years old of Yuma, was the only person with the victim at the time of the incident.

The investigation revealed Danielle Martinez had significant internal trauma on the 31st, in addition to past serious injuries consistent with continuous child abuse. On Friday, June 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm, Victor Noriega was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Detention Center for 1st degree murder and felony child abuse.

The investigation remains active.

The Yuma Police Department encourages anyone with information about this investigation to contact Detective Esmundo Tejeda at (928) 373-4700 or 78 Crime to remain anonymous.

PHOENIX – A man is under arrest for allegedly killing his baby who would not stop crying.

Francisco Hernandez, 20, is accused of shaking his baby boy, Francisco Javier Hernandez Jr., because he would not stop crying.

The suspect was reportedly alone with the 3-month-old child Monday in their home near 17th Avenue and Broadway Road when he told police he cracked under pressure.

“The father did indicate that he was frustrated with the child because the child wouldn’t stop crying," said Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos. "He then shook the child. A short time later the child was unresponsive and the father called for police.”

Hernandez faces charges including child abuse and first-degree murder.

The infant’s mother was not home at the time of the incident.

Phoenix man arrested in child's death had been reported for abuse

Newly released court documents show that man who was arrested on suspicion of killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son on Saturday had been previously reported for child abuse by the mother of the child.

Walter Munoz, 24, was arrested on Sunday after authorities responded to a call regarding "a child not breathing" at an apartment complex in the 8200 block of West Indian School Road. According to Sgt. Steve Martos of Phoenix police, the boy, Daniel Resendiz, was taken to a hospital where medical staff declared him dead.

Daniel's mother, Munoz's 27-year-old girlfriend, made statements to the police that led them to open a homicide investigation. 

After being questioned by the police, Munoz told authorities he abused the child for several weeks, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents. The documents, released Monday, show that investigators believe Munoz's girlfriend had reported him for child abuse in August and she had sought help at a shelter.

At some point she returned to the residence she shared with Munoz, though she had previously stated she knew he had beaten the children in the past with his fists and belt, according to the documents. The woman also has two other children, ages 4 and 5, though Munoz is not the father of any of them.

Munoz told police he was intoxicated on Saturday when he tripped over Daniel, according to the court documents. He then beat the child, striking him with his fists and biting him, until the boy died, according to the report. Munoz told police he then placed Daniel in his bed.

When the mother returned home from the store, he pointed out to her that something was wrong with the victim. The mother grabbed the child and ran across the street to call 911.

Martos said the girlfriend - Bianca Arce, 27 - was booked into jail on suspicion of child abuse because she is suspected of being aware of the abusive behavior and did not prevent it or seek help.

The two remaining children in the home were placed in state Child Protective Services custody.

Gilbert man pleads guilty to child-abuse death

Associated Press - September 24, 2010 6:54 PM ET

PHOENIX (AP) - A Gilbert man has entered a plea agreement in the child-abuse death of his former girlfriend's baby daughter.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 23-year-old David Arnold Reed III pleaded guilty Thursday to one count each of manslaughter and child abuse. His sentencing is set for Oct. 25.

Reed's first trial ended in a hung jury in July. He initially was charged with first-degree murder in the May 2009 death of 13-month-old Cheree Goard after investigators found signs the child had previously been abused.

The Arizona Republic says an autopsy showed the toddler died from a blow to the head, had 5-inch fractures on each side of her skull and extensive brain swelling. There was a healing fracture of her collarbone and a fracture of her right arm.

Scottsdale couple plead guilty in child abuse case

by Associated Press (September 25th

PHOENIX — A Scottsdale couple accused of abusing their baby daughter has pleaded guilty in the case.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 21-year-old Zachary Wilson and 18-year-old Latovia Jones entered their pleas Friday.

The couple was arrested in April after Jones took the baby to a Scottsdale hospital's emergency room with a swollen head and doctors discovered old and new injuries.

Prosecutors say Wilson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and child abuse for causing Lazayia Wilson Jones to suffer a skull fracture, broken wrist and broken ribs between Feb. 1 and April 10. He faces up to nearly four years in prison followed by supervised lifetime probation when he's sentenced Oct. 25.

Latovia Jones pleaded guilty to failing to protect her daughter from abuse and failing to obtain prompt medical attention for her head injury. She will be placed on supervised probation for a minimum of 10 years when she's sentenced Oct. 26.

Pinal County man's killing of family stuns community

Pinal County sheriff's deputies are investigating what led a Santan-area father to fatally shoot his two young children and critically injure his wife before killing himself this week.

The slayings, discovered by worried relatives Tuesday, have left family and friends in disbelief and forced to reconcile the Gilbert Ramos they knew with the killer authorities portray him to have been.

Neighbors recall Ramos, 45, as the doting father to 10-year-old Nicholas and 8-year-old Emma. Family members say he was a rock and a problem solver, always happy to help.

His profile on a social-networking website gave no indication of trouble. It included glimpses of family life: He wrote: "Glad to be home from work with the family. Doing homework with the little ones." He talked of vacations past and present: Sea World with the kids, Las Vegas and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with his wife, Sandra, 37.

"I'm so confused . . . They were the nicest people and the children were beautiful, the most well-behaved and sweet children," neighbor Amy Kinnard said. "I have to think he was out of his mind."

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said Ramos shot his wife and killed their children as they lay in their beds, before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities think brewing financial troubles may have been behind the attack but have not released details.

Family members found the bodies Tuesday evening inside a home in the 1300 block of East Nardini Street. Relatives went to the house after attempting to reach the Ramoses for two days.

Sandra Ramos had life-threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital, where she remained in critical condition Wednesday. Her husband and two children were pronounced dead at the scene.

Father kills himself; 2 abducted children found safe

Aug 29, 2010

Reporter: Sheryl Kornman

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The two young children abducted by their father Sunday in a custody dispute have been found safe in California. Their father, Brian Diez, 26, killed himself Sunday morning in Rancho Cucamonga.

He took the children from their mother in Lake Havasu and killed her and five others after he  entered a Lake Havasu residence early Sunday morning to take the children. He and the mother were involved in a custody dispute.

An Amber Alert was issued early Sunday morning after the children went missing. The children are Kaia Diez, 4 years old, and Cole Diez, one year old.

Teen Mother Arrested For Child Abuse

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A 16-year-old mother from Phoenix was arrested last Saturday after police suspected that the girl had faked her daughter's kidnapping. ABC News reports that the teenager called police to report that a group of men had kidnapped her 1-year-old baby at gunpoint near 67th Avenue and Van Bruen Street, where a large number of police officers proceeded to assist with the search for the baby.

After a couple of hours, a K-9 unit reportedly located the baby, who appeared to be unharmed, sleeping in a stroller behind some bushes near 67th Avenue and Fillmore Street. Police believe that the teenager left her baby at the location after having difficulties coping with the responsibilities of motherhood. Child Protective Services then left the baby with family members of the mother while the girl was detained for allegedly leaving her child.

Perhaps the young mother was not aware that she had alternative options to faking a kidnapping, if she no longer wanted her child. A police spokesman reminded community members through ABC News that there are a number of services in the community that can help teenagers with taking care of their children. He said that police officers will even step in when it comes to desperate situations.

Any parent can also voluntarily terminate his or her own parental rights and surrender a child to the state, which would make him or her no longer the legal guardian for a child. In the state of Arizona, there are Phoenix family lawyers that can help parents with this process.

Father arrested for child abuse murder

Posted: Aug 11, 2010 11:53 PM EDT Updated: Aug 12, 2010 12:13 AM EDT

Web Producer: Brian Pryor

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Koffi Dogbevi has been charged with first degree murder in the death of his six year-old son.

Authorities on August 3rd 2010 responded to Dogbevi's residence where they interviewed a six year-old boy who according to the father, had fallen down a flight of stairs.

Investigators determined that the injuries were not consistent with a fall and arrested Koffi Dogbevi on Tuesday, August 10th for child abuse. On Wednesday August 11th 2010, the boy was taken off life support at an area hospital and the father was charged with murder.

Trial set for Goodyear couple in child abuse case

Associated Press - July 28, 2010 7:24 PM ET

PHOENIX (AP) - A Goodyear couple will stand trial in October for allegedly abusing their adopted daughter over her potty training last year.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 41-year-old Raul Varela faces two counts of child abuse and his 40-year-old wife, Tricia Varela, faces four counts of child abuse. Their trial is scheduled to start Oct. 18 and if convicted, prosecutors say the couple could each face prison sentences of 10 to 24 years.

The two were arrested on April 28, 2009, after Tricia Varela took their then 4-year-old daughter to a Goodyear hospital for abdominal pain. Doctors say they discovered severe bruising on several parts of her body along with what appeared to be a broken arm.

The girl was taken to a Phoenix hospital and further examination revealed she also had two broken legs and a fracture to her upper right arm. The Varelas told police they caused the girl's injuries three days earlier during a "potty-training war."


Parents charged with molestation, child abuse after son's death

Updated: Jun 18, 2010 1:32 AM EDT

Bullhead City, AZ (KTNV) - A one month old baby has died after injuries he suffered from a brutal sexual assault. Some of the details in this case are graphic.

Police say the baby's parents are the one's responsible and that it happened in their home in Bullhead City, Arizona. The baby died at Sunrise hospital with more injuries than most people can stomach to think about. It is something family and friends say they're having a tough time even comprehending.

"He was trying to cry. He couldn't really cry," said family friend, Zachary Piper as he described how he found the baby.

"He had bruising rings around his eyes and his eyes were almost swollen completely shut. He was trying to get his breath, but he had real short sporadic breaths," said Zachary.

Zachary found one month old Matthew Vandergriff after Matthew's uncle, Mac Barbosa called him for help.

"I told my sister this is ridiculous, you need to get him to the hospital," said Mac.

But Zachary and Mac say Matthew's parents, 19-year old Staci Barbosa and 23-year old Jonathan Vandergriff didn't want to take him because Matthew had been brutally sexually assaulted.

"Right then and there I picked up his car seat and went out to my car, buckled him in," Zachary says.

They brought baby Matthew to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, but once the doctors saw the severity of his injuries, he was airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. He died within 24 hours.

Police say he had broken ribs, a broken femur, signs of sexual assault and shaken baby syndrome. Family and friends say they don't know how this happened, but they want justice.

"I'm happy they're in jail," said Mac.

"Staci Barbosa and Jonathan Vandergriff are nothing to us now. I hope they stay in jail. I hope they rot," neighbor, Krystal Peck says.

Both Barbosa and Vandergriff are in the Mohave County Jail. Right now they're charged with child molestation, aggravated assault, child abuse and sexual conduct with a minor. Police say more charges, including homicide, are pending.

Barbosa and Vandergriff also have a 2-year old little girl. She is currently in her grandmother's custody.


Cococino County


Victim(s): Teigan Peters (aka Teigan Brown) (3 years)

Date of Death: June 2009

Daughter killed in murder-suicide during court-ordered visitation . Mother had applied for orders of protection.

Maricopa County


Victim(s): Trenay Duchane (12 years)

Date of Death: Nov. 2008

Custodial father and stepmother convicted of murder.


Victim(s): Anthony Gonzalez (11 years)

Date of Death: Summer 2005

Father convicted of murdering son during summer visitation.


Victim(s): Son (5 years)

Date of Death: June 2009

Father with sole custody murders son in failed murder-suicide. Mother had been trying to regain custody.


by Alicia E. Barrón

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 24 at 8:00 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A Scottsdale couple was arrested and are facing child abuse charges involving their infant.

The parents of a 4-month old baby girl -- Latovia Jones,18, and  Zachary Michael Wilson, 21, were both arrested on charges of child abuse Wednesday.

According to police, on April 10th, the baby was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital for swelling on the side of her head.  Doctors who examined the girl said she had a skill fracture, multiple rib fractures, and a fractured wrist.

In a police report, Wilson admited to placing the infant face down and pressing the back of the baby's head into the bed until she would stop crying.  Jones admited to witnessing this repeatedly over a period of six weeks.

Jones had reportedly been in contact with police, hospital staff, and Child Protective Services.  Jones told police that the child's father (Wilson) had been caring for the baby.  During that time Wilson told Jones that the baby fell off the bed and hit her head on a trunk.  

Jones faces one count of child abuse and is being held on $10,000 bond. Wilson faces three counts of child abuse and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

The baby survived her injuries but her medical condition is unknown at this time.

Man arrested for breaking arms of his girlfriend's child
Posted on March 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM


PRESCOTT - A hospital visit for a three-year-old's broken arm leads to the discovery of alleged child abuse and an arrest.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office got a call from Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott around 3:30 a.m. on March 5 concerning the circumstances that led to the broken arm.

Deputies learned from the nurses that the child has been admitted by his mother and her boyfriend. After determining the child's arm was broke the boyfriend, Kyle Tang, 27, admitted involvement in causing the injury.

Tang has lived with the boy and his mother for about three years, but is not the father of the child.

Tang admitted to deputies that he became frustrated with the boy's behavior and grabbed his arm to pick him up off the bed. That is when he heard a popping noise.

After interviews were completed with Tang, the boy's family and hospital staff, Tang was arrested for one count each of child abuse and aggravated assault.

Child Protective services has been called into look at the case.

Men face $1 million bond for child abuse
by Bryan Stewart

Two Hamlet men arrested for the near-fatal drowning of a 4-year-old boy on Saturday are facing felony child abuse charges and a $1 million bond.

Charles Garland Quick, 47, Spring Street, Hamlet, and Richard Wayne Lamonds Jr., 33, Henderson Street, Hamlet, were arrested around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday on felony child abuse charges. In addition to the child abuse charge, Quick received another misdemeanor charge for resisting a public officer.

According to Capt. Bob Steele with the Hamlet Police Department, both men were supposed to be baby-sitting two children. One was the 4-year-old who apparently wandered from the home on Dennis Street to a home on Austin Street.

The child opened the back gate and later fell into a pool, according to Steele.

An off-duty nurse stopped by the home on Austin Street, which belonged to her parents to let their dogs out, and noticed the back gate open. As she closed the gate, she noticed the boy face-down in the pool. She pulled him out of the water and began performing CPR, according to Steele.

After numerous attempts to revive the boy, he began breathing and the woman called 911.

“When officers arrived at the home, only one child was in the house,” Steele said. “They tried to lie to keep from getting into trouble. They were both drunk.”

The boy was Quick’s son.

Steele said in an e-mail that, with consent, Quick blew a .19 on an alcohol sensor.

The child was transported to a hospital in Charlotte. He was scheduled to be released Monday into the custody of the Department of Social Services.

Both men are being held in the Richmond County Jail under a $1 million bond.

Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15 or by e-mail at

Arizona personal injury - A 14-year-old girl was locked up, barley fed, forced to live outside

2010-02-11 05:22:57 (GMT) ( - Justice News Flash, Personal Injury)


Personal injury attorneys alert- Child Protective Services is investigating a shocking case of child neglect involving a 14-year-old girl.

Phoenix, AZ—A nightmarish story was reported on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, about a 14-year-old girl who was imprisoned like an animal with no running water for nearly two months by The girl’s father and stepmother kept her in what the parents called “lock-up” as a punishment for stealing food.

While in “lock-up” the terrified girl was forced to exercise until exhaustion, beaten with belts and metal rods, and they would even pull her by her hair if she stopped exercising. Her father and stepmother, Scott and Andrea Bass, gave her only a few cans of food, crackers and bread every couple of days. On January 24, 2010, the girl managed to escape her dungeon by crawling up a linen closet, into an attic crawl space where she kicked out a loose board, and then ran out the back door of the home. The girl ran for help and someone called the police for her. Officers and Child Protective Services rushed to the victim’s home to talk to her dad and stepmother. Once inside the home, officials found a bathroom locked from the outside. Scott, not realizing that his daughter had escaped, opened the door and was visibly shocked to see her missing. Inside the bathroom was a 5-gallon bucket with nearly 4 inches of urine, a blanket on the tile floor, and empty cans of food. Bass did admit to officials that he locked the girl in the bathroom for stealing food and cheating in home schooling. Investigators then uncovered that the girl has been forced to live and sleep outside on the patio during the summer time. She was also locked in a closet for a week with no light, and locked in a bathroom for a week. Andrea reportedly acknowledged the allegations, and stated, “She no longer wanted to have anything to do with [the victim.]”

After a medical evaluation, it was revealed that the 14-year-old girl was in the 25th percentile for weight and in the 50th percentile for height, when comparing to other girls her age. The Bass’ were arrested on February 4, on charges of unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, failure to report neglect of a minor, and child abuse.

Tuba City couple indicted on assault, child abuse charges 
 Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Tuba City couple has been federally indicted with child abuse in connection with several incidents involving a young girl in their care over a three-year period.

According to information from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, the 35-year-old man in the relationship was indicted on eight counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury and six counts of intentional or knowing child abuse.

The 36-year-old woman in the relationship was also charged with six counts of intentional or knowing child abuse.

According to investigative reports, medical staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital notified federal investigators they had a 5-year-old girl who had been a victim of child abuse and torture.

The child had broken ribs, fractured pelvis, broken leg, multiple abrasions and bruises over her entire body, blood spot in left eye, missing nasal septum with blood in both nostrils, all upper teeth missing, ulcers to back, head and neck, multiple healing scabs, head lice and clumps of hair missing from her head.

Investigators interviewed the woman of the couple who had become guardians of the girl. She made voluntary statements as to the physical abuse her spouse had inflicted with slaps, belts pliers and steel-toed boots.

According to investigator reports, when confronted, the man told investigators, "I did it. I did all of it."

Conviction for assault resulting in serious bodily injury carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Conviction for intentional or knowing child abuse carries a maximum penalty of 22 years in prison.

An arraignment date has not been set. The male suspects remains in federal custody

Abused Chandler child dies; father faces homicide charge

The infant girl who police said was physically and possibly sexually abused by her father died Monday afternoon, one week after the attack in the family's Chandler home.

The Police Department has upgraded its recommended charges against Brian Mark Hopf, 25, from child abuse to homicide, marking the fourth child-abuse death since November.

In January, police arrested a daycare worker who they said suffocated a toddler during nap time when the girl wouldn't stop crying. Those charges are being reviewed at the county attorney's office.

Hopf told police that he was feeding the 3-week-old infant at about 4 a.m. when he accidentally poked her in the eye. The girl cried so hard, he said, she stopped breathing for about a minute. He started chest compressions and she began breathing again, but he didn't call 911 or tell any of the other four adults in the home - the baby's mother, his father, stepmother or stepbrother.

When police told him about the skull fractures, he responded that he tripped and fell while holding the child.

Doctors said the injuries were from multiple blows to the head, which cause irreversible brain damage, swelling and bleeding, according to court documents. The girl also had multiple injuries to her inner thighs and genitals, and police are waiting for further tests to confirm whether sexual abuse occurred.

It was the baby's mother who noticed in the morning that there was a large bruise on the child's left eye. She took the baby to the hospital where doctors said she was unresponsive.

Hopf has a history of domestic violence towards his girlfriend, the baby's mother, according to police. There was one call for service to the home related to domestic violence in January, Mendoza said.

Hopf has a history of drug use, including a marijuana charge he pleaded guilty to in 2001, and admitted to police he abuses methamphetamine. He was also given two years probation in 2007 for credit card theft

The mother of a 3-year-old child who died of blunt force trauma and her 23-year-old boyfriend have been booked on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse, Chandler police said.

Officers took Susan Witbracht, 26, and Dauntorian Sanders, into custody after detectives reviewed autopsy results.
Police said they got a call on Monday afternoon that a child was not breathing. When officers arrived at the home at 2351 E. Wild Horse Place in Chandler, they found the girl and began administering CPR, said Sgt. Joe Favazzo of the Chandler Police Department. Firefighters also joined the effort when they arrived.
The 3-year-old was then rushed to an area hospital, where she later died, Favazzo said.
Autopsy findings released Tuesday indicated the death was a homicide attributed to multiple blunt-force traumas, Favazzo said.

Phoenix toddler killed by father in murder-suicide remembered
...Teigan Peters died on Father's Day at a campsite along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. According to police, the 3-year-old's father, Ryan Peters, shot her and then killed himself.
...Investigators said Teigan's father was upset over the custody arrangement.

Woman convicted of child abuse


July 2, 2009 - 10:47PM


A jury on Thursday returned a child abuse conviction against a Chandler woman whose toddler son suffered two broken arms, broken ankles and bleeding on his brain in 2007.

The conviction was for a lesser-degree felony than what she was indicted on, meaning she could get up to a year less behind bars if she is sentenced to prison.

According to a search warrant filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, paramedics responded to the home of Rana Krank, 28, on March 30, 2007, to find the 22-month-old child with a fast pulse and labored breathing.

Doctors found several broken bones that were in various stages of healing, bleeding on his brain and pneumonia, the warrant states.

Police also arrested Krank's live-in boyfriend, Alvin Broom, on child abuse charges. He is scheduled for trial later this month.

Man indicted for child abuse
PHOENIX - Chandler resident, Jeremias Aguilar, was charged this Wednesday with first degree murder and two counts of felony child abuse.

On June 6, Aguilar allegedly threw his girlfriend's two- year- old daughter on the floor because she was crying. The young child's mother has also been charged with felony child abuse.

Aguilar and the mother made a 911 call 2 hours after the incident. The infant was rendered unconscious due to hitting her head on the cement floor after Aguilar allegedly tossed her on the ground.

When the two-year-old baby arrived at the hospital doctors found bruises all over the child's body, including her arms, legs and back.

When Aguilar was questioned by police that day in June, he admitted to hitting the child because she was crying.

The young girl's mother, Josefa Talevara, said she was afraid because the baby's eyes were purple. The young girl was kept in an unconscious state until she was taken off life support, she died June 18th.

While child abuse in any form is ghastly, County Attorney Andrew Thomas said, "Child abuse that ends in murder is tragic for both the victims and the community. This office's ‘violent crime, hard time' policy will make sure these defendants are held accountable for their alleged crimes."

Slain Gilbert baby showed previous signs of abuse

A 13-month-old girl, who Gilbert police say died Friday at the hands of her mother's boyfriend, showed previous signs of abuse before suffering two fatal skull fractures, court documents filed Tuesday show.

David Arnold Reed III, 22, was charged Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court where he will face one count of first-degree murder and child abuse and other charges in the beating death of Cheree Goard .

An autopsy showed the baby suffered two 5-inch-long skull fractures on each side of her skull and there was "extensive swelling" of the brain and subdural bleeding.

The autopsy also showed a healing fracture of the clavicle and radial fracture of the right arm.

Reed was arrested Saturday and is being held on $500,000 cash-only bond.

"It's a tragic and unfortunate situation we are dealing with. This is a case that affects a lot of people," police spokesmen Sgt. Mark Marino said on Monday. He declined to give details about the incident, which is described in court documents.

Darlene Cerimeli, Reed's mother, called 911 about 5:15 p.m. May 7 saying the child had fallen from a bed in her home where Reed lives with the child's mother, court documents state.

When emergency crews responded to 531 S. Pandora Drive, the child was unresponsive and needed to be airlifted to Maricopa County Hospital.

"The child was declared brain dead upon arrival at the hospital," court documents state.

When questioned by detectives, Reed stated he picked up the child from its maternal grandmother's home about 4:30 p.m., and "at that time, she was acting normal and showed no sign of injury or illness," court records show.

When he returned home, Reed said he placed the child on the couch and changed her diaper. When he returned from throwing the diaper in an adjacent bathroom, the child was on the floor, court documents state.

"She was unresponsive and grasped for breath," Reed told investigators.

Police noted the seat of the couch is about 21 inches from the padded, carpeted floor. The autopsy revealed the child died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

"Based on the injuries, David's reported story is not consistent with the injuries found," court document state. "The injuries were received while the child was solely in David's immediate care."

Reed and the baby's 19-year-old mother live at his mother's home, although the baby's mother wasn't there at the time the baby was injured, Marino said.

Reed and the baby's mother have a 3-year-old child in common and were raising it along with the 13-month-old, who has a different father, Marino said.

There is no indication the 3-year-old was abused, Marino said.

David Reed's MySpace page lists him as a "proud father" and has several pictures of his 3-year-old daughter.

Police issued a search warrant on Reed's mother's home, but it remains unclear what was taken, if anything. A search of court records didn't show Reed has a criminal history.

Chandler couple arrested on child abuse charges after 17-month-old girl knocked unconscious

 February 27, 2009 3:14 AM ET

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - A Chandler couple have been arrested on child abuse charges after the man injured the woman's 17-month-old daughter by slamming her into a playpen.

Chandler police say 30-year-old Michael Charles Yettner allegedly knocked the child unconscious Sunday and then he and 21-year-old April Dawn Porter spent about five minutes trying to revive the baby with cold towels and shaking.

Police say Yettner slammed the girl down to quiet her crying and the child began vomiting when she regained consciousness.

When the couple took the girl to a hospital, they told the staff the child had fallen but doctors and nurses called police because the injuries weren't consistent with a fall.

Police say Yettner and Porter each were booked into jail on one count each of child abuse.

They are being held in lieu of $75,000 bail apiece.

 Prescott Valley Father Police were searching for turned himself in

Prescott Valley police were looking for a 23-year-old PV man who they think may have abused his 5-month-old baby boy.

Saturday at 10:14 a.m., officers responded to Yavapai Regional Medical Center's East Campus for a report of possible child abuse.

The baby initially went to the hospital with facial injuries, but doctors later found that he had possible skull fractures, PV Police public information officer Brandon Bonney said.

Doctors then sent the baby to Phoenix Children's Hospital for more treatment, Bonney said.

Police say doctors in Phoenix determined that the baby had severe injuries not consistent with the suspect's reported story surrounding an alleged accidental injury.

The baby had multiple skull fractures and internal injuries as well as facial injuries, Bonney said. Doctors are still treating the infant, he added.

Detectives say they tried to speak to Denz, who was reportedly heading to the hospital to see his child. But they said they later found out that Denz did not go to the hospital.

Police have issued a felony warrant for the suspect's arrest with a $100,000 bond.

Tucson mother, Shonda Harper, 39,was arrested on Feb 4, 2009 for what police reported as injuries inflicted by her to her  2-year-old  girl on Dec 31, 2008.  The child remains hospitalized in Phoenix.

 Bail has been set at $50,000.

The child abuse case is described on the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Web site.

The site provides some details on abuse or neglect cases that involve the death or "near-death" of a child.

Officer Charles Rydzak, a Tucson police spokesman, said Harper was initially arrested in December after police responded to a 911 call reporting suspected child abuse. An outstanding felony warrant in a Texas case delayed her jailing here in the abuse case.

Rydzak said he could not disclose details about the injuries to the child. She was taken to University Medical Center and then airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix, he said.

The other children in the home were turned over to the state's Child Protective Services. Rydzak said he could not disclose the ages of the children. They apparently were not physically harmed.


Bullhead City mom, step-father arrested for alleged child abuse

10:00 AM Mountain Standard Time on Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bullhead City Police Department

The following is a news released from the Bullhead City Police Department.

BULLHEAD CITY -- Bullhead City Police arrested the parents of a 9-year-old girl on several child abuse related charges.

On Sunday, January 11th, 2009, a family member reported the suspected abuse to law enforcement.

After further investigation, police discovered that while the family lived in Bullhead City between December 2007 and February 2008, the victim (then 8 years old) was severely beaten and abused by her step-father, 25-year-old Juan Manuel Corral Jr.

On several occasions during this time “as a form of discipline”, the girl was dragged to the bathroom by her hair and forced to take cold showers for up to one hour, was forced to remove her clothing and eat her dinner on the floor “like a dog” and made to urinate and defecate on the floor “like a dog.”

During a week in January, 2008, Corral Jr punched and slapped the victim in the head and punched her in the stomach numerous times. The victim was so severely beaten, she missed an entire week of school because her body was badly bruised. Corral Jr also inappropriately touched her as another form of “discipline.” The victim’s mother, 32-year-old Dawn M. Corral stood by and watched the abuse and did nothing to protect her daughter.

Police believe the abuse continued when the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona in February, 2008. The case will be forwarded to the Phoenix Police Department for follow up.

Bullhead City Police arrested the victim’s parents yesterday, January 14th in Bullhead City, where the family now resides.

Juan Corral Jr was arrested for sexual contact with a minor, sexual molestation of a minor, endangerment per domestic violence and aggravated assault per domestic violence. Dawn Corral was arrested for child abuse per domestic violence, endangerment per domestic violence and aggravated assault per domestic violence. The suspects were booked into the Mohave County Jail in Kingman.

Mother arrested for child abuse; father arrested for hindering prosecution

12:29 PM Mountain Standard Time on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office


The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

On June 26, 2008, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Unit arrested 20-year-old Chino Valley resident Alexander (Alex) Allen for Hindering Prosecution in the 1st degree.

Yavapai Co. Sheriff's Office

Alexander Allen

Since the arrest of the baby's mother, Michelle Murray, for several counts of child abuse on June 17, 2008, detectives have continued their investigation as to the cause of the injuries. During further interviews with Allen regarding the case, detectives verified that Allen intentionally lied to them as to the cause of the baby's injuries during their first contact with him at the hospital. Allen did this in an apparent effort to protect Murray. Both Allen and Murray had claimed that Murray's two-year-old daughter pulled the baby out of an infant swing and caused the injuries. Allen's actions hindered the prosecution of Murray by providing false information to detectives and medical staff. As a result, Allen was arrested for Hindering Prosecution, and booked at the Prescott Detention Center. Additional charges are still possible.

Detective Ross Diskin, the lead investigator in this case, is seeking information from anyone who has knowledge of child abuse incidents involving Murray and Allen. Detective Diskin may be reached at 928-777-7348.


The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

CHINO VALLEY -- On June 17, 2008, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office detectives from the Criminal Investigation Section, arrested 26-year-old Chino Valley resident Michelle Murray (aka Swartz) for several felony counts of abuse involving her two month old baby boy.

On June 11, 2008, Allen and Michelle Murray took their baby to Yavapai Regional Medical Center due to a swollen right leg. The parents told hospital staff another sibling, a two-year-old girl, caused the injury three days prior. After completing an exam and x-rays, medical staff discovered the boy had a fractured skull, fractured right femur, partially healed broken clavicle, and multiple rib fractures in various stages of healing. Based on the findings, YRMC medical staff called Children Protective Services (CPS) and YCSO. The Murray’s reside in the 1000 block of Buffalo Run Road, Chino Valley.

Detectives arrived at the hospital and after interviewing the parents, learned their initial story to hospital staff was false. CPS took custody of the child and detectives began an investigation into the cause of the baby’s injuries. During the next few days, Michelle changed her story several times as to how her baby was injured in an apparent attempt to conceal child abuse. Additionally, even with full knowledge of the injuries, Michelle could not explain why she waited three days before taking her baby to the hospital for treatment. These types of injuries, if left untreated, could have resulted in a long term serious medical condition or even death. Detectives learned that a family member, who had seen the baby’s swollen leg, had to demand Michelle take the baby to the hospital.

Based on the results of the investigation as of June 17, 2008, detectives believe Michelle had a direct roll in the abuse of her baby and she was arrested and booked at the Prescott Detention Center on six various felony child abuse charges. Her bond is set at $250,000 dollars.

The baby's father, Allen Murray, is cooperating with detectives as the investigation continues. The other child is also in protective custody.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at (928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website:

Police: Daughter molested by mom, former counselor

Jackee Coe and Senta Scarborough
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 18, 2008 02:26 PM

A former Mesa family counselor groomed his fiancée into drugging her 11-year-old daughter with sleeping pills so they could take photographs while they molested her over a three-month period in 2006, according to police. 

William L. Riedel, 43, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor and child molestation. His former girlfriend, now 55, whose name is being withheld by The Arizona Republic to protect the victim's identity, was also booked Thursday on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor, and sexual and child abuse.

The girl was placed in the custody of the state Child Protective Services.

Arvayo said Riedel worked as a former in-home family counselor for an agency in the Valley.


Riedel told police he met the girl's mother at his Mesa apartment complex and "groomed" the mother to help him molest her daughter. Police believe the molestation by the couple occurred from January to March 2006.

Riedel purchased Ambien sleeping pills and had victim's mother tell her daughter to take them for her allergies, police records show. The mother told investigators that she was intoxicated when she took photographs while Riedel molested her daughter. She also told police she molested her daughter, but was "sorry."

Police began their investigation after a 13-year-old classmate of the victim found images of the girl being molested by Riedel. Riedel was living with the woman, then his fiancée, and her daughter when the classmate found the photographs on a computer. He had been living there for about two months, court records show.

The mother confronted Riedel, told him to leave her house, and called police.

Police seized the computer and discovered "thousands" of child pornographic images, including photographs of Riedel and the victim's mother molesting her while the girl appeared to be unconscious or drugged.

One image on the computer's hard drive shows the victim's mother placing her breast into her daughter's mouth while the girl was drugged, police records show.

The images also include child pornography widely circulated on the Internet, Arvayo said.

October 5, 2007 - 3:08AM

Police call child abuse case one of worst ever

Katie McDevitt, Tribune

Sometimes the beatings came from a military belt. Other times it was a computer cord. When the little girl wasn’t hit, she was forced to hold her petite frame in a push-up position and read from a book placed below her face.
If she didn’t know the meaning of a word, the lashes continued.

Police arrested a Mesa couple Tuesday in connection with what investigators are calling one of the worst cases of child abuse they’ve ever seen.

Ezra Emanuel Hazell, 29, and Kristie Marie Hazell, 25, were taken into custody on suspicion of several counts of child abuse that targeted the man’s 5-year-old daughter from another relationship, records show.

“Everybody in my life hurts me,” the child told investigators at Mesa’s Center Against Family Violence.

More than 100 bruises and other injuries covered her body and she was taken to a hospital to be checked for internal injuries.

Child Protective Services took custody of the girl and her 4-year-old and infant half-sisters.

Court records show the girl was abused at her home in the 1700 block of South Lemon, near Inverness Avenue and Val Vista Drive, for more than a month.

“It’s horrific, based on all the visible injuries and mental abuse this child has been through,” said Mesa police spokeswoman Detective Diana Tapia.

The girl had been in the custody of her father, police said, since her biological mother had also been suspected of abusing her. The family moved to Arizona from Texas in March. Ezra Hazell claims to be in the U.S. Army on his MySpace page, but military records could not be immediately verified.

Police were notified of the abuse after the child told her teacher and a school nurse at Gilbert’s Pioneer Elementary School that her father and stepmother beat her with a belt nearly every day, records show.

When police interviewed the father, he told investigators that he and his wife strike the girl, but that they didn’t realize they had hurt her and felt badly.

He said they sometimes place her in a push-up position for 15 minutes instead of a spanking.

Also, he said the couple has to hit his daughter because she loses control about twice a week and doesn’t listen or follow instructions. Kristie Hazell would not comment to police.




August 13, 2007 - 10:23PM

Mesa police arrest mom on suspicion of child abuse

David Biscobing, Tribune

A mother accused of beating her 10-year-old son until he was bloody inside a Wal-Mart was arrested Sunday by Mesa police.

Witnesses saw Tina Lynn Tatum, 29, repeatedly strike her son in the head, stomach and back with a closed fist and drag him by his feet at the retail store located at 1955 S. Stapley Drive, police said.

Tatum is on lifetime probation for child abuse due to her involvement in the death of her 3-month-old baby in 2003. Tatum’s then-boyfriend, Pedro Peralta, 32, was sentenced to life in prison for shaking the baby to death. Peralta is serving a second life sentence for suffocating another girlfriend’s baby to death later the same year.

Tatum was booked on suspicion of child abuse. Her son is in the care of a family member.

Rest in Peace
Tyler and Ariana

Feb 2007
Tucson father now accused of killing two of his children

Disturbing new information Monday in the deaths of two children; the body of one believed to have been found in a storage locker.

Monday, a grand jury indicted their father, Christopher Payne, for both of their murders.

The indictment lays out the case against Christopher Payne.

Even though Tyler Payne's body hasn't been found... Payne is charged with his murder.

Also, there are new clues that the children may have died a slow, abusive death.

It's almost hard to believe the words printed on the page.

Up until the indictment, 5-year-old Tyler Payne, Ariana's older brother was thought to be missing.

The indictment reads otherwise. It says, "Christopher Mathew Payne murdered Tyler Payne."   

Police have always suspected foul play in Tyler's death. At one point, dozens of investigators searched the Los Reales Landfill.

They never said what they were looking for and in the end; the investigators didn't turn up anything.

Tyler's body is still missing. The indictment reads that Payne "... intentionally or knowingly moved a dead human body or parts of a human body with the intent to abandon or conceal."

The indictment also reveals new details about how Tyler and his 4-year-old sister, Ariana, may have died.

Ariana's body is believed to have been found in a storage locker last month. 

The indictment says, "Christopher Payne caused or permitted her bones to be broken."

Probably the most disturbing information... in reference to both children...  Payne's indictment says he "failed to seek prompt medical attention and/or allowed the children to starve to death."

Police do not think the children's mother was involved in the death of the two children.      

We went by her home, again Monday night to get her reaction to the indictment.   

Her boyfriend told News 4 she's meeting with the family's attorney on Tuesday.

He said they will be releasing a statement to the media, soon

Mom Of Murdered Children Gets $1 Million
Mother of these children was awarded $1 million.  The little boy's remains have not been recovered.

Christopher Mathew Payne is GUILTY

Tucson Citizen

chris-payne-guiltyChristopher Mathew Payne rocked slowly in his swivel chair Tuesday as Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard S. Fields examined the verdicts that would decide his fate.

Just a few feet away, Jamie Hallam clasped her hands and tucked them under her chin as she waited to hear whether her ex-husband would be held fully responsible for the gruesome deaths of their children.

Payne's chair came to a halt as the verdicts were read aloud by a clerk:

Guilty, first-degree murder, in the deaths of Ariana Payne, 3, and Tyler Pane, 4.

Over three hours of deliberations, jurors had rendered the verdicts that would send Payne's three-week trial into the death-penalty phase.

Jurors also convicted Payne of two counts of child abuse against Ariana, one count of child abuse against Tyler as well as two counts of concealing or abandoning a body.

Jurors were expected to return Wednesday to decide whether Payne is qualified for the death penalty and, if he is, begin hearing defense evidence in favor of a life sentence.

Prosecutors will ask jurors to find at least one of three aggravating factors exist that could call for the death penalty:

• There was more than one victim.

• The victims were minors and the defendant an adult.

• The murders were committed in an especially cruel, heinous or depraved manner.

Prosecutors said they will tell jurors to rely on the evidence brought up at trial and closing arguments to make their decisions on the aggravating factors.

If jurors find at least one of those factors exist, then the trial will move into the mitigation phase in which defense attorneys will present evidence intended to persuade the jury to choose a life sentence over death.

If jurors find that the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravators, Fields will either sentence Payne to life in prison with no possibility of parole or with parole possible in 25 years.

If jurors find the aggravators outweigh the mitigators, Payne will be sent to death row at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence. Death penalty cases are automatically appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.

The last time Arizona executed an inmate was Robert Comer in May 2002.

Ariana Payne's decomposed remains were found Feb. 18, 2007, in a plastic tub that had been stored at a North Side storage unit.

Tyler's remains were never found, but Payne confessed to police the children starved to death under his care and he put their bodies in the tub.

Trial testimony showed that Tyler's body was likely thrown in a large garbage bin by the manager of the storage locker facility and the bin's contents taken to Los Reales Landfill.

Police searched Los Reales twice, but never found the body.

Prosecutors argued at trial that after Hallam dropped the children off for a visit in January 2006, Payne kept them because he resented paying child support.

After Payne lost his job in April 2006, he began abusing heroin frequently and locked the children in a bedroom closet, where they starved to death in August or September, prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys argued that Payne's girlfriend, Reina Irene Gonzales, abused and starved the children.

Gonzales, 24, was charged similarly to Payne and might have faced the death penalty if convicted, but pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and gets a 22-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against him.


Toy Box Killing

By Paul Rubin 

Published: August 10, 2006

Last week, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted former Phoenix resident Eric Natzel on two counts of felony child abuse in the brutal August 2005 death of his 2-year-old daughter Abbey.  

Eric Natzel was playing a video game when his baby died.

Subject(s): Eric Natzel

Police in Michigan arrested the 27-year-old Natzel and are holding him in lieu of $500,000 bond at the Lenawee County Jail in Adrian, a small city near the Ohio border.

A few days after the indictment, Phoenix homicide detective Jack Ballentine flew to Michigan to see if Natzel would speak with him. However, Natzel told Ballentine that his attorney in Arizona previously advised him not to discuss the case.

Ballentine also interviewed acquaintances of Natzel's in the town of Owasso (about half an hour from East Lansing, the home of Michigan State University), where Natzel had been living since shortly after his daughter died.

Early on the evening of August 27, 2005, Natzel told his wife, Amy Minor, in a phone call that he had found his daughter inside a cardboard toy box with a domed lid.

According to Amy's later account, Natzel had claimed before hanging up the phone that the baby was "choking."

But phone records later indicated that Natzel did not call 911 for assistance until more than 30 minutes after that. When paramedics got to the couple's apartment in north Phoenix, Abbey Minor was dead.

Natzel was unemployed at the time, and was staying at home with Abbey while his pregnant wife worked full-time at a Phoenix pharmacy. Natzel told police that he had been spending his days tending to Abbey inside their apartment as he played hour upon hour of video games.

Natzel insisted that he never physically abused Abbey, whom he told police was named after the Beatles' famous record Abbey Road.

But an examination of the baby's body at John C. Lincoln-Deer Valley Hospital shortly after she died revealed fresh abrasions on her forehead, small bruises above both eyes and a bundle of inexplicable bruises. The back of the baby's head also was badly swollen.

Detective Ballentine interviewed Eric Natzel and Amy Minor at the hospital separately on that night last August.

Amy defended her husband in that first, brief interview, but later turned against him and alleged that he had been physically abusing her for some time.

Ballentine asked Natzel that night to explain the many bruises on the baby's body.

"They weren't there this morning," Natzel told the detective, noting that he'd showered with his little daughter sometime before noon. "I don't even remember seeing them when I picked her up [out of the toy box]."

Natzel also conceded that Abbey had been in his sole care and custody from the time his wife had left for work in the early afternoon (a few hours after the shower) until he had allegedly "discovered" her in the toy box.

. Natzel left the hospital that night with his parents. His wife Amy left with her parents. At the time, she was just a few weeks away from giving birth to her second child.

Last February, a county medical examiner concluded that Abbey had suffocated inside the toy box but listed the manner of her death as "undetermined," not as a homicide or an accident.

Dr. John Hu wrote that he could find no evidence of internal injuries, bone fractures, or any sign of what's known as "shaken-baby syndrome."

The pathologist also noted that the bruises, however plentiful, did not kill the little girl.

Importantly, though, Dr. Hu concluded that many of the multiple injuries the child suffered — particularly the ugly and fresh cluster of bruises in the middle of her back — had been "intentionally afflicted" by another person.

That comported with Ballentine's theory that Eric Natzel had smashed Abbey with his fists, probably after crunching her into the domed toy box.

Many more months of continued investigation ensued, including consultation with medical experts in Arizona and elsewhere, before county prosecutors decided that they had enough evidence to convict Natzel of child abuse.

For myriad reasons, child abuse cases akin to this can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors often must rely on expert witnesses to try to convince jurors that the accused committed the crime.

Natzel faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted on the more serious of the two felony counts, which is classified as a dangerous crime against a child.


Assembly Bill HB2348 passed the Arizona Senate on 5/26/04. This bill allows disposition of community property, calculation of spousal maintenance and determination of child support to occur with consideration of criminal conviction for acts against the spouse or child. It also included the following:

1) No custody or unsupervised visitation to sex offenders or murderers.

2) Courts shall consider financial ability when ordering services, evaluations, etc.

3) Evaluator will swear and affirm on EACH evaluation that he/she is up to date with the training.

4) 6 hours initial training on child abuse.

5) 6 hours initial training on domestic violence.

6) 4 hours every other year on child abuse and domestic violence.

7) Minimum standards for training created by Domestic Relations Committee.

8) 2 more senators and 2 more House members on Domestic Relations Committee.

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