After a long wait to deliver justice for murdered 2-year-old Savannah Cross, Ryan Alan Reed, a day care owner and dad-of-two pleaded guilty to killing and attempting to sexually assault the little girl while the mom of his own kids, Allison Ann Clement, looked on and did nothing, according to a report by KTVK News in Phoenix, Arizona.
Savannah had been made a virtual prisoner in the unlicensed Phoenix day care facility that Reed and Clement operated in their home. The toddler's own mother, Ashley Livengood, dropped her off there sometime around Thanksgiving of 2012, according to a report in the Arizona Republic, and had not picked the little girl up by the time she died on December 11 — the day after Reed, then 27-years-old, stomped on the child's abdomen as she lay on the floor.
#SavannahCrosshttp://t.co/szMoG3tIPU pic.twitter.com/uS5uBjzPY2Reed claimed that he tripped and inadvertently drove his foot into the helpless child, but autopsy reports showed that Savannah had been the victim of ongoing abuse — both beatings, which Reed and Clement considered "discipline," and sexual abuse.
— Anonymous (@Anon_OpSK) February 26, 2014
The local TV video news report from KNXV-TV in the following video contains more details on the horrific child murder case.According to a report in the Phoenix New Times, Savannah's grandmother submitted a letter to the court in 2013 — after charges against Reed and Clement were, astonishingly, dropped after the Maricopa County medical examiner failed to complete tests on the girl's body in a timely fashion despite repeated pledges to get the tests done.
Reed and Clement were later indicted a second time.
In the letter, the grandmother described the horrifying injuries to the little girl.
"Savannah's remains were bruised from head to toe, front to back, hair in tatters, skin on multiple areas, torn, cut, bitten, blinded, forcibly raped and forcibly sodomized, left to die in her own feces and urine as she cried out in anguish, only to be ignored," the letter read. "Savannah's remains were so damaged, we could not have a public viewing. Savannah was unrecognizable."
Savannah's father, Stephen Cross, left his daughter in care of her mother because, according to a KPHO News report, he is a former United States Marine who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and as a result, feared that he might hurt Savannah.
But leaving Savannah with Ashley Livengood turned out to be a poor choice.
"I think Ashley thought she loved Savannah," said one family friend, Frank Warneka. "But I don't think she knows how to love anything."
#JusticeForSavannah CALL 2 ACTION: Clement's trial begins 6/1 Reed's begins 7/11-Please Assist Victim's Family #WAT pic.twitter.com/7gRsQlE0DKThe two children of Ryan Reed and Allison Clement, who was 28 at the time, were also in the home when Savannah was suffering the sickening abuse. Both children were immediately removed from the couple and placed with state Child Protective Services.
— The Savannah Fund (@TheSavannahFund) April 29, 2016
According to the medical examiner's report in November of 2013, not only did Savannah Cross die from the massive injuries she sustained from Reed's brutal abuse, she also suffered from acute exposure to methamphetamine, as well as severe dehydration.
Reed, who was arrested in November of last year when semen found in the investigation of the little girl's death was identified as his, claimed that Clement had left the house to visit her mother when he allegedly accidentally stepped on Savannah Cross, according to an Arizona Republic report.
But accident or not, neither Reed nor Clement ever sought medical help for the badly injured toddler. Instead, Reed said, he placed Savannah in her crib — finally calling 911 the next morning when the child was having serious trouble breathing.
When police showed up they found that Savannah was effectively sealed in her crib with boxes placed on top and other objects in the crib that prevented the child from lying flat.
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Ryan Alan Reed pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder in the horrifying death of Savannah Cross, as well as to attempted sexual conduct with a child and child abuse. Allison Ann Clement is due in court on August 30, when she is expected to plead guilty to child abuse charges. Reed is set to hear his sentence on October 21.
[Featured Photos via Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Facebook]