PHOENIX (KPNX/NBC) - On July 12, Phoenix, AZ, residents were shocked to hear a 10-year-old girl had died from what was thought to be a game of hide and seek.
Now, Phoenix police say her death was murder, carried out by family members who were supposed to watch her.
10-year-old Ame Deal was found dead inside a locked box.
Relatives said she had hid there, but investigators determined she was locked inside for punishment and tortured, something she endured for quite some time.
"Some of things alleged to have been done to this child over the few months was that she was fed hot sauce. She had dog fecal matter rubbed on her when she didn't pick up in the backyard and forced to eat it," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.
John and Sam Allen, relatives of the girl, have been charged with kidnapping and First Degree Murder.
An aunt who was Deal's legal guardian and a grandmother have also both been charged with kidnapping and child abuse.
"On this particular day when she as forced into the chest for disciplinary reasons we are alleging the padlock shut and was left in there over night by her guardians," Sgt. Crump said.
Police say Deal was being punished for stealing food from the refrigerator.
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