A severly abused 4-year-old girl has died and police believe her mother is to blame.
The mother, 22-year-old Ashley Buckman, is the primary suspect and the boyfriend, 22-year-old James Edwards, did not report the abuse of a 4-year-old girl.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said they received a call around 8 p.m. Wednesday night about injured child near 19th Avenue and Northern.
When fire department crews arrived at the scene, the girl was not breathing and determined that she was a victim of abuse and the police were called.
Buckman is in the process of being booked into the 4th Avenue Jail and will be charged with child abuse and failure to protect a child. Edwards was also booked into the jail and faces the same charges.
Thompson says on May 29, the girl soiled her bed and Buckman beat her. On May 30, Buckman struck the child with her bare hand around 8 p.m. and that's when the child stopped breathing.
After investigators spoke with Buckman, they found that the child was beaten numerous times in the past and there were injuries from her head to her foot, which included cuts, abrasions and bruises. There were also indications of whip marks, possibly caused by a hanger or other devices. Thompson adds that the child also had scald marks on the lower part of her body.
Detectives told Thompson that this is one of the most egregious cases.
Buckman and Edwards are the parents of another child in the home and Thompson said there were no incidents of the 1-year-old child being abused. Child Protective Services now has custody. No other details were provided about the 1-year-old.
Thompson says there were no reports of open cases involving the victim or her parents.
After looking through records, police believe Buckman had been repeatedly abused as a child. "..and appears that it was passed from generation to generation," said Thompson.
When asked if there was a long delay from when the child stopped breathing to when a call was placed to 911, Thompson said he did not know time frame. When officers first became involved, they were told by the parents that the child came back with bruises and was with a family member, but that was not the case.
"They initially lied to police," said Thompson. "And then even as we found out what had happened, they began to minimize the effects. We believe the scalding involved the boyfriend and he tried to minimize it to say that perhaps the water was just too hot or there were some issues, but because of the nature of the marks, it appears that the child was intentionally scalded with hot water."