Ame Lynn Deal
July 24, 2000 - July 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial

On a hot day in July of 2011, Ame Lynn Deal decided she would like to have a popsicle. She went to the freezer,
took one out and ate it. When her parents found out, Ame was punished in a way she had been used to for so
long, by being put into a foot locker 14 inches wide by 12 inches tall. Ame was no stranger to abuse and torture at the hands of her family. It is reported that even the other 11 children in the filthy home she lived in, would do
things to get her into trouble.

Other abuse Ame suffered at the hands of John and Samantha Allen, her cousins, Judith Deal, her grandmother and Cynthia Stoltzmann, her aunt. included being forced to go without food, eat dog feces, beatings with a wooden paddle referred to in the family as the butt buster, sleeping in a shower stall with no pillow or blankets, doing back bends for hours and having hot sauce poured into her mouth. These punishments could be given for anything from lying to what the family said was stealing food, when she was hungry. Phoenix Sergeant Trent Crump was asked if he had seen anything worse than what happened to Ame, he said:

"No. It makes you sick to your stomach"

On the day she died, Ame only weighed only 59 pounds at the age of ten. Ame had taken a popsicle without the
permission of any of the adults in the house. As punishment, John Allen said he forced Ame to go into the back
bend position, which was her hands and feet on the floor and back being arched up, for over two hours. If at any
time Ame would fall, John would force her back into the back bend position. When that part of the punishment
was over, John made Ame go and get the footlocker and when she did, he put inside of it. Using a lock to ensure
that she would not get out, he went to bed and left here there. In the morning when he woke up, she was dead.

"This child died at the hands of those who were supposed to love and care for her. This case
has turned the stomachs of some of our most seasoned detectives"
Phoenix Police Spokesman - Sergeant Trent Crump

At first, Ame's death was classified as unknown. The children in the home were all told to lie and say that Ame had gone into the trunk during a game of hide and seek. John and Samantha, who were both 23 years old at that time, eventually admitted that they had lock her in the trunk and were charged with first degree murder. Cynthia Stoltzmann, who was 44 years old and Judith Deal who was 62, were charged with child abuse and kidnapping after they admitted they had also locked Ame in the trunk at times. When asked why she suffered the abuse and the other children did not, a witness said it was because Ame was always a little slow and that was the only reason given.

CPS was no stranger to this home Calls had been made to complain about the conditions in the home, how filthy it was. In addition, when the family lived in Utah, CPS was called and a visit was made. School officials in Utah say they made repeated complaints to CPS that there were signs of neglect and abuse. Jilleen Boydstun, the second grade teacher who had Ame in her class said that Ame was very bright and curious and that she always craved the attention of adults adding that something just wasn't right at home"

"Ame was treated differently. There just wasn't the affection I could feel coming from the Aunt towards Ame and they would tell me they didn't really think Ame belong to them.
She was constantly coming to school dirty, she often had head lice. One time she came to
school with cat urine on her shoes and it smelled so badly that the counselor came and
cleaned her and got some shoes for her"
Jilleen Boydstun

The counselor, Jody Hanson, said that frequent calls were made to CPS to try to get help for Ame and the other children in the household adding that it was easy to see that Ame was the scapegoat in the family and got the brunt of everything. Jody said she knew that there was an open case at CPS with the family and that CPS had been working with the family to teach them parenting skills. Not long after the visits started, the children were taken out of school and the family disappeared.

It seems that there were witnesses who lived in tents in the back yard of the home. These people saw what was happening to Ame and NONE of them stood up to defend her or to report the abuse in any way. One witness said that he could hear Cynthia yelling at Ame one night while beating her and forcing her to sleep in the shower stall because she had wet herself. Another witness stated that she watched as Samantha put Ame in the foot locker and John would kick at it and flip it over while Ame was inside of it. Ame was also forced to crush cans with her bare feet and exercise outside even in extreme weather. How could these people watch that happen and never report it and why aren't they ALL facing some kind of charges?

The remaining children in the home were taken into custody by Child Protective Services. Ame's biological
mother has not been found and authorities were trying to locate her father.

In a horribly digesting twist to this story, in July of 2011, David Deal, Ame's father, was trying to raise money to
bail out his mother and sister. He was calling family and friends asking for money to help with raising the bail.
This information was provided by a family friend who remained anonymous due to a fear of what David, reported
to be a violent man, would do.

In August of 2011, John Allen and his wife Samantha Allen were indicted on first degree murder charges, one count of conspiracy to commit child abuse and multiple counts of child abuse:

"This horrific case has deeply disturbed not only the citizens of Maricopa County,
but people throughout the country as it offends the essence of what it means to
be a parent or guardian of a young child. Instead of caring for Ame Deal, we are
alleging that these family members utterly failed her. My office will spare no effort
in seeking justice for Ame and ensuring the public has confidence in the result"
Maricopa County Attorney - Bill Montgomery

John and Samantha plead not guilty in August of 2011. They were both being held on $500,000. bond.

Also in the month of August 2011, Shirley Deal gave up hope of ever seeing her daughter Ame again. Shirley
read on Facebook that her daughter was dead and that the family who was supposed to be taking care of her,
had killed her. Shirley claims that the family also abused her and that when she went to visit Ame the family had
attacked her and when she tried to take Ame, they refused to all her and made threats towards her when she
tried:

"I trusted them, with all my heart, and now it's broken. It ain't never coming back. I'm not
going to be done with it until something is done. They better stay in jail, they better be
in prison for life. You're messing with a baby, she was not a baby, but she was my baby.
He promised me I could see her. I never seen her in six years and it feels like it's my fault
and everybody says, no it's not your fault"

Shirley Deal

Guess what, I am part of everybody and I think it's partly your fault. Interesting how she was your baby, yet you left her in a home where you knew abuse took place towards you and probably at least suspected something against your daughter. You left her in a filthy house to be abuse, tortured and murdered. That's how you treat your baby? You were threatened? That's what police are for. Had you really wanted your daughter, you would have saved her life by getting her out of there. You say you trusted these people, how could you after they attacked and threatened you? UNBELIEVABLE!

Cynthia Stoltzmann and Judith Deal were both charged with multiple counts of child abuse for the ordeal they made Ame face. In news stories online, four evil faces stare out, all looking like they feel sorry for themselves and the mess they have gotten themselves in to. I have to wonder if ANY of them feels an ounce of pain for Ame and what they did to HER!

David Deal has denied being Ame's father. A man named Kenneth Griest is more than willing to say he is the
father of Ame if he could only take a DNA test to prove it. Kenneth says that he and Shirley Deal were involved
in a relationship when she became separated from David. Ever since her birth, Kenneth says that he had the
suspicion that he was her father even though David's name is on the birth certificate:

 
"She loved to sing. We bought her a karaoke machine one year. We taught her how to
ride a bike. I have her birth certificate here at my house".
Kenneth Griest

  

According to Kenneth, Shirley was intimidated by David Deal and eventually went back to him when he was living in Texas. Ame and Shirley moved in with David, however, Shirley says he became abusive and she left, leaving Ame with David and his family. Kenneth speculates that the reason Ame was treated so badly was because the family knew she was not related to them by blood and that he tried over and over to find the family and get Ame from them adding that it was impossible since they moved around so much. Kenneth would like to have a DNA test done, he says that the detective who is handling the case will not return his calls.

UPDATE:

In July of 2013, David Martin Deal plead guilty to attempted child abuse, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
In September of 2013, Cynthia Stoltzmann, having plead guilty to two counts of child about and one count of attempted child abuse, was sentenced to 24 years in prison and a probation for life.

Judith Deal, after pleading guilty to attempted child abuse, was sentenced to ten years in prison and probation for life.

Return To Ame's Story
A Gathering Of Strangers To Honor Ame

Death occurred in the state of Arizona

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