Mesa police arrested a man who they believe beat his 4-year-old daughter with a power cord so severely that investigators say it was "the worst case of child abuse [they've] seen where the child survives."
Mesa police Sergeant Ed Wessing tells New Times that on Sunday morning the suspect's girlfriend went to the Mesa Police Station hoping officers could help her get her 1-year-old son -- from another relationship -- from the suspect's apartment.
The girlfriend told officers that she and the suspect, 31-year-old George Kuykendall, had been fighting and that he wouldn't allow her to take her son when she left the couple's home.
Police recognized the woman as the victim in a previous domestic-violence case involving Kuykendall and knew there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
Police, Wessing says, used the girlfriend's request as an opportunity to serve the arrest warrant and went to Kuykendall's house to arrest him and retrieve the girlfriend's son.
While arresting Kuykendall, Wessing says he became combative and that the girlfriend asked if she could take her son and Kuykendall's four-year-old daughter -- from another relationship -- down the street to a relative's house.
While at the relatives house, Wessing says the 4-year-old told an aunt that Kuykendall had beaten her and showed her the injuries.
"This was a severe beating," Wessing says. "And I mean severe."
Wessing says Kuykendall used the power cord from a computer, which he folded in half, to beat his daughter,
The beating left the girl's body completely covered in bruises, cuts, and welts, with injuries so severe there was damage all the way down to her muscle tissue.
The beatings happened several times on Friday and Saturday and, police later learned, were the cause of the fight between Kuykendall and his girlfriend.
Because the girlfriend never reported the crime when she met with police, Wessing says she will also be charged with it.
Kuykendall is in jail on $100,000 bond and has been charged with three felonies -- two class-two and one class-three.
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Wessing says the 4-year-old is in critical condition but is expected to recover physically.
"We hope she'll be able to recover, but she lost so much blood that her kidneys shut down," he says.
Psychological recovery, Wessing says, may be a different a story.