'Communication breakdown' leads to release of Ame Deal's father

PHOENIX - There was a "communication breakdown" that led to the release of David Deal over the weekend, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's office.

Police arrested Ame Deal's father last Friday. A court ordered Deal's release from jail Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

The County Attorney's office said the judge did not find probable cause to keep Deal in custody, possibly because the information at the judge's disposal may not have been complete.

Deal, accused of brutally torturing 10-year-old Ame, was then booked into jail for a second time Monday night on felony child abuse charges.

Prosecutors scrambled to have a grand jury indict Deal on a felony child abuse charge after his first release, which was only slowed due to the Holiday weekend, investigators said. A warrant was ultimately issued for his arrest with a $250,000 bond.

Deal's daughter died in July of last year. Her aunt originally told police and ABC15 in an interview that the girl crawled inside the trunk during a game of hide-and-seek.

Police later arrested her aunt and two other adults at the house, saying the locker was used as a form of punishment frequently.

Crump said it took time to build the case against Deal. His name appears on the girl's certificate but Crump said he denied being her father.

Crump said Deal at one time lived in a tent in the backyard of the home near 37th Avenue and Broadway Road where the girl died.

Deal had put the girl in the box as punishment on at least one incident prior to her death, according to Crump. He also said that on another occasion, he threw the box with the girl inside into a swimming pool.

Deal is facing a slew of child abuse charges. Three other adults, including the girl's aunt, are also facing child abuse charges.

Crump said when Deal was arrested, he called the girl names and said she was fat. Deal also told police that the girl's mental problems frustrated everyone.

John and Samantha Allen, Deal's cousins, are facing first-degree murder charges. Police said they were the ones who put her in the box the night before she was found dead.

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