PHOENIX - Phoenix police say a man and woman have been arrested, after a 3-year-old girl died at their in-home daycare Tuesday.
They were identified as 27-year-old Ryan Reed and 28-year-old Allison Clements.
The couple was booked for felony child abuse charges but not on murder charges.
The call for a child not breathing came out around 7 a.m. Tuesday at a home near 45th Street and Sunland Avenue.
CPR was performed on the 3-year-old Savannah Cross, and she was transported to County Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Crump said.
The cause of death remains unknown, but police are treating it as a homicide investigation.
“During the investigation, Reed admitted to abusing the victim on numerous occasions by striking, kicking, and roughly grabbing the victim,” Crump said.
Clements told police she saw these abusive acts but didn’t intervene or seek medical aid, said Crump.
The mother of the victim dropped the girl off for days and weeks at a time without checking on her, Crump said.
She wasn’t able to be reached at first, but police later located her Tuesday afternoon. She has not been identified and was being questioned by police.
Family friend Frank Warneka said he used to live with Savannah and her mother Ashley until about a month ago. He said Ashley, a stripper, would leave her daughter at the daycare for weeks and often didn't pay the bill.
"They (Reed and Clements) sent a note home to Ashley saying she owed them $1,200. I called them and said Ashley doesn't live here anymore and that they should call CPS because it isn't their responsibility to take care of Savannah," said Warneka.
"I think Ashley thought she loved Savannah, but I don't think she knows how to love anything," he said.
The girl’s father was also later located.
Reed and Clements ran the "babysitting service" through Craigslist, Crump said.
There were five children reportedly in the home at the time. The others appear to be OK.
Two of them were the suspects’ children.
They were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, Crump said.
He said more charges may later be filed.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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