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.
According to ABC15.com:
“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.