Ame Deal's Father May Have Tried (and Failed) to Skip Town During Three Days of Freedom

If David Deal, the father of Ame Deal — the 10-year-old girl who died a year ago after her family members admittedly stuffed the girl in a footlocker — wanted to skip town between his arrests this weekend, he had about three days.

If Deal actually tried to leave town, he failed to do so.

Deal was arrested on Friday night for allegedly abusing his daughter before her death, and was let go shortly after that without having to post bond.

After a grand jury indicted him on one count of felony child abuse, a warrant was issued Monday night for Deal's arrest.

The cops didn't waste too much time picking him up, and according to court documents obtained by New Times, caught Deal while he was loading his stuff into a U-Haul truck.

Officers watched from the front of Deal's residence as he loaded things into the truck before arresting him, although it's not known exactly where he intended to drive the U-Haul truck full of his possessions.

This time around, with the grand jury indictment, a judge set Deal's bond at $250,000.

Police say Deal locked Ame in a trunk as punishment from December 2010 until July 2011, when she died from suffocation after being locked in the trunk by other family members.

According to witness accounts, Deal was the first person to keep Ame in confinement, starting with keeping his daughter locked in a dog kennel.

Police say Deal also locked Ame in a box, then tossed it in the backyard swimming pool.

Deal's reason for doing this, police say, was because Ame "kept crying and yelling she could not breathe during the confinement."

Deal denied to police that he'd abused his daughter, but a Phoenix police spokesman says Deal described his own daughter as a "Pillsbury Doughboy looking thing and said her mental problems frustrated others."

Ame's cousins, John and Sammantha Allen, were charged with first-degree murder last year after they admittedly locked Deal in the footlocker the night she died because she took a Popsicle without asking.

Her grandmother, Judith Deal, her aunt, Cynthia Stolzmann, were arrested after Ame's death on child-abuse charges.

Ammandea Stoltzmann, another relative, was arrested in February for previous alleged abuses of the girl.

Deal's arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley