PHOENIX - Phoenix police have made a fifth arrest in the disturbing abuse case connected to a 10-year-old girl.
"We believe she was abused for most of her life," said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump.
Phoenix police say 24-year-old Ammandea Joann Stoltzmann was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of abusing 10-year-old Ame Deal.
Police said Stoltzmann watched as others choked Ame and forced her to sleep in a dog cage while wearing a dog collar.
"We believe Ammandea poured hot sauce down Ame's throat, hit her in the face with a wire brush, and kicked her hard enough to make her nose bleed."
Sgt. Crump said he believes there will be more arrests in the case.
Ame as found dead in a footlocker about the size of a suitcase last summer.
Family members first told detectives she would often play hide and seek in the footlocker, but police quickly came to believe they were dealing with a deadly abuse case.
Police said Ame considered her abusers family members, but police do not believe she was biologically related. Police think this might be the reason Ame was targeted.
Sgt. Crump says Ame would have considered Ammandea her cousin.
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