A Decatur, Illinois, father is accused of brutally beating his 4-year-old daughter to death.
Darrell A. Reynolds, 29, faces two counts of first-degree murder for the Aug. 31 death of his daughter, Amarrah C. Reynolds, the Herald & Review reports.
“I just killed my daughter,” Darrell confessed to a police detective after Amarrah was transported to a hospital in an unresponsive state, according to the officer’s affidavit.
During his police interview, Darrell said he hit Amarrah with a belt so many times he lost count.
“Darrell said he struck Amarrah in the head, body and legs with the belt,” the detective wrote in his statement.
Law enforcement officials who have seen the autopsy photos of Amarrah said her body was covered with bruises and scars.
The girl’s mother, 26-year-old Dalvon Taylor, told police Darrell had been abusing Amarrah for about two years.
“Dalvon stated the abuse typically consisted of Darrell hitting Amarrah in the face and torso, hitting her forcefully with a belt numerous times, which caused welts to her arms, back, legs and torso, severe pinching, and grabbing the back of her neck and lifting her off the ground,” the detective’s statement said.
Darrell was also abusive towards Dalvon, which is allegedly why she did not report Amarrah's abuse to police or child protection officials.
Dalvon is charged with one count of endangering the life or health of a child. If convicted, she could serve two to 10 years in prison.
Since Amarrah was under the age of 12 and “the death resulted from exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty,” Darrell is facing life in prison instead of the 60-year limit that is applied in many first-degree murder cases, according to charging documents filed by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Amarrah’s family started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs and raise money to assist her two siblings with acquiring school supplies, toys and clothing.
While 61 people have donated a combined $2,350 to the fund, there are others who chose to question the family’s motives and express their unhappiness with them asking for money.
“What a beautiful little girl, why was nothing done to help her in the two years this was happening to her!?" one person commented. "She needed help then! Not now. Vile sick people in the world. May you now rest in peace beautiful girl.”
“Wow when it comes to money your all set up! Why wasn't 'family' around to help the poor girl when she was being abused for the past two years?” another comment read. “And now u want help of others to raise money for her funeral? I don't think anyone should pay but the family itself. They didn't help her physically so why should anyone help financially!"
“Disgusting family!" said another. "Those kids don't need toys they need therapy and away from you vultures!”