PHOENIX — A man was arrested Monday in the death of a North Phoenix toddler.
Phoenix police report that Monday about 11:45 a.m. they were called to a home near 15th Avenue and Union Hills Drive for a child not breathing.
While en route police received word that the two-year-old boy was being driven to a hospital by Rickey Renee Lockwood, 36. Paramedics intercepted Lockwood and transported the boy to Deer Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased.
According to court documents, medical staff reported that two-year-old Eli Steele had bruises on his face, a rib fracture and severe brain and spinal injuries. Hospital officials say, "the brain and spinal injuries were so severe that the victim would have become unresponsive immediately."
Police say that Lockwood and the child's mother were in the process of potty training the child. A witness in the home reportedly told police that he smelled a strong odor of feces and saw Lockwood cleaning the child in the bathroom tub. The boy was later dressed and walked to his room.
The witness says that about 10 a.m. Lockwood ran into his room, holding the baby, saying he wasn't breathing.
When questioned, Lockwood allegedly denied hurting the child, denied bathing him, and said the boy never soiled himself.
Court records show that during a search of the home, police found soiled children's clothing and a shirt with red stains.
During his initial court appearance, Lockwood continued to deny the allegations telling a judge, "I didn't do this."
Phoenix police say Lockwood has been booked for first degree murder and child abuse.