A 4-year-old from Arizona provided a spontaneous statement to police prompting the arrest of his stepfather on child abuse charges.
Andrew Isaacs, 27, was taken in to custody by Mesa police following the death of Joylynne Giebel on Friday.
The 1-year-old’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but court documents said she had obvious bruising on her forehead, face and ear, according to the Republic. Additional charges could be brought against Isaacs after the cause is determined.
According to court documents, the 4-year-old told his mother and an officer that “daddy had hit his sister in the face real hard.”
Isaacs was at home babysitting when the incident occurred late Thursday. Joylynne’s mother, Aminda Giebel, was out for the evening and returned later. Isaacs called police at 1:30 a.m. on Friday because the 1-year-old had stopped breathing. Joylynne was pronounced dead 24 hours later, the Republic reports.
Isaacs previously claimed that Joylynne had fallen on her face while playing. He also tried to blame the 4-year-old, saying he had pushed Joylynne into a wall.
However, Isaacs later admitted that he had struck the child, but claimed the violence was not serious. In a separate incident, he acknowledged throwing a football at Joylynne’s head.
Authorities are now wondering why the Department of Child Safety (DCS) did not intervene earlier against Isaacs. He was reportedly a well-known drug addict, and last December, a child abuse hotline received a complaint about his behavior.
"The call involved serious allegations regarding Andrew Isaacs" and the child, Greg McKay, the director of the DCS, explained to the Republic.
McKay pointed out that a caseworker did attend the property, but after they found no one at home they left a card by the door and didn’t followup with the matter. The DCS also reportedly failed to call the agency's criminal investigations unit or the Mesa police regarding the issue.
McKay added that the allegations included using opiates to drug the child, potential injuries to the child, and drug dealing, all of which “massively, massively threw a red flag into the air,” McKay stated.
The agency has announced a thorough review into its response to the December 2014 incident.
Aminda Giebel does not face charges, according to the Republic.
The 4-year-old has been removed from the home.
Photo credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Facebook