Father beats 5-year-old autistic daughter to death with shoe for refusing to do homework
A New Mexico father has been arrested for allegedly beating his five-year-old autistic daughter to death with a shoe because she refused to do her homework.
According to the KOAT, 36-year-old Brandon Reynolds, of Albuquerque, was charged on April 5 with intentional abuse resulting in the death of a child under the age of 13 over the death of his daughter, Sarah Dubois-Gilbeau.
A criminal complaint filed in the case obtained by the station states that Reynolds confessed to police of becoming enraged after Sarah refused to do her homework on Thursday at around 8 pm.
He said he "didn't know what came over him" and "that's when the discipline set in" and he started spanking her. He claimed he struck her with a water shoe — a type of footwear used during activities like kayaking — all over her body and that, at some point, he "blacked out."
The complaint states that when he realized his daughter was no longer moving, he "cradled her on the floor of the living room." At this point, he applied ice on her back and left her in bed, only calling emergency services at around 1 am after he realized that her heartbeat had grown faint.
Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier explained in a press conference the following day that first responders administered medical treatment to Sarah at the scene before transporting her to the University of New Mexico Hospital for further care. He said the APD was notified by medical services immediately because of "additional concerns and factors that they believed the police should be involved."
Sarah was declared dead at the hospital, with staff finding that she had tread marks all over her body which were probably the cause of the deep bruises and bruised lungs she suffered, as well as the fluid in her brain. Investigating officers at Reynolds' residence found blood on the walls and the carpet of the living room.
Her mother Chantel alleged on a GoFundMe page set up to raise donations for her daughter's funeral that Reynolds "refused to accept she was Autistic" and that he killed her "because he could not deal with her autism."
The Daily Mail cited court records which showed that Reynolds had won sole custody of Sarah after a dispute in California where he accused Chantel of marijuana use. Chantel had countered and accused the 36-year-old of having "PTSD which causes him to not be able to handle or care for a child properly," but would lose the case and her daughter.
Reynolds, who reportedly does not have any record of abuse registered against him with the New Mexico Child, Youth, and Families Department, is currently being held at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.