Ryan Reed, 27, and Allison Clement, 28, cared for 3-year-old Savannah Cross as part of their babysitting service they advertised on Craigslist. They had been caring for Cross since July and watching her on a full-time basis since October. Her mother, 27-year-old Ashley, would leave Savannah with the couple for weeks at a time, occasionally showing up to visit or pay her bill. The last time she visited her daughter was on Thanksgiving.
Ashley won’t have to worry about caring for her daughter any longer as the little girl is dead after suffering extreme physical abuse that ended with a well-placed stomp to the stomach. Police were called to the couple’s home Tuesday morning after receiving a call for a child not breathing. Savannah would die on the way to the hospital, where doctors would find signs the girl had been abused.
Savannah was covered in bruises on both sides of her body that were in different stages of healing. Her injuries were so severe, according to police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump, that it will take further investigations to discover what actually killed her. However, we do know how she received one of her last injuries. It’s a downer so if you hate reading about children being abused, I’d skip the next couple of sentences.
According to police, Reed admitted he repeatedly hit, kicked and roughly grabbed the girl at the home in front of Clement, who would do nothing to stop it. On the night before police were called, Reed admitted he stomped on the Savannah’s stomach while she was on the ground. The little girl curled up in the fetal position and stayed that way the entire night. Reed said he heard Savannah groaning throughout the night but didn’t call for help until he found her unresponsive the next morning.
The couple were booked into jail on felony child abuse charges, with more charges possible once investigators get an official cause of death. Depending on when some these injuries took place, Ashley may also be charged with a crime. “If there is any of these injuries that may have been long term or extended than we might hold somebody else responsible,” Crump said.