Where is the care in child care?
Yet another unfortunate story has occurred in Phoenix regarding the needless loss of a young child, 3 year old Savannah Cross. Tuesday, December 11, 2012, while under the supervision of her so-called day care providers Ryan Reed (27) and Allison Clements (28), Cross was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead under suspicious circumstances; presence of bruises and swelling.
The exact cause of her death is still unknown, but police are treating this as a homicide. It was obvious to the medical staff that the girl had undergone varying stages of abuse over a prolonged period. The abuse hadn’t been detected by Cross’s mother. The couple ran the unlicensed babysitting service through Craigslist.
“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.”
Initially the day care couple attempted to explain away the injuries to Cross as a result of frequent falls and tumbles, but eventually Clements admitted covering up for Reed’s version of discipline; grabbing, slapping, kicking, or flicking the child. Reed confessed to abusing the 3 year old on multiple occasions.
The couple was booked for felony child abuse charges. Murder may be pending but that will depend on the autopsy. Reed’s bond was set at $1 million, and Clement’s was set at $375,000 for her failure to report the abuse or getting the child medical attention.
The death of a child isn’t something new in the state of Arizona. Seventy children died in 2010 from severe abuse. Of those the local Child Protective Services only knew of less than half.