The Phoenix man who was temporarily cleared of murder and child-abuse charges in a 2-year-old girl's death was back in jail Thursday, after nearly two months of freedom.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump tells New Times 27-year-old Ryan Reed was arrested Thursday night on two counts of child molestation.
Reed and his wife, Allison Clement -- who ran an unlicensed babysitting service -- were arrested nearly a year ago after 2-year-old Savannah Cross died while in their care.
Police described heinous abuse suffered by Savannah, allegedly at the hands of Reed and Clement, as doctors told police the bruises on Savannah's body were "too many to count."
Court filings indicate the charges against Reed and Clement were dropped in late September as the Medical Examiner's Office was very slow to perform tests, and a deputy Maricopa County attorney assigned to the case repeatedly told the judge that these tests would be in any day -- which turned out to not be true. The charges were dismissed, but they can still be re-filed.
The dropping of charges 10 months later caused outrage among many people, including some people associated with Anonymous, a collective of Internet activists. The Anonymous activists started demanding justice for Savannah and even put together a campaign to put Savannah's mother, a former "exotic dancer," out of a job, as she had left her daughter in Reed in Clement's care 24 hours a day for weeks.
Court documents indicated Savannah sustained "extensive trauma to include deep tissue bruising, pattern bruising, swelling and abrasions from head to toe, front to back."
"These bruises appeared to be in different stages of healing, and could not have been caused by a single traumatic event," a probable-cause statement said.
Reed admitted that he took to what he called "discipline" of Savannah, by smacking her and flicking her. According to court documents, Reed said he tripped and "stomped" the girl in the abdomen on one occasion, which apparently turned out to be the fatal blow.
"The victim immediately curled up with her arms around her abdomen and spent the rest of the evening in this posture," according to the probable-cause statement. "Reed said that he ultimately picked her up and placed her in her playpen that evening and heard her making groaning sounds throughout the night."
Reed and Clement didn't seek medical attention for Savannah until finding her unresponsive at their home, near 45th Street and Broadway Road, the next morning.
Police later discovered that Savannah had been sexually abused, too. And that's what has Reed back in jail.
"This [arrest] stems from the investigation into her death," Sergeant Crump says. "He has not been charged with her death."
A court spokesman didn't get back to us to confirm the details, but when a person in Arizona's charged with molesting someone under the age of 15, they're usually jailed without bond. We'll update this post when we hear back.
UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Court documents indicate that Reed is indeed being held without bond.
Documents cite specific DNA evidence and injuries to Savannah to support the molestation charges. Although it's not related to these charges, the court documents also indicate that the medical examiner's testing revealed "critically elevated levels of methamphetamine" in Savannah's system.
Reed declined to speak with police when he was arrested at his grandparents' Glendale home Thursday night.
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