DECATUR – The parents of a 4-year-old girl who was beaten to death Wednesday are being held in jail after they were arrested in connection with her death.

The child, Amarrah C. Reynolds, who turned 4 on July 8, was brought into the emergency room at Decatur Memorial Hospital in an unresponsive state about 3:15 p.m. with “numerous areas of scabbing and bruising covering her entire body,” said a probable cause affidavit by Decatur police detective Erik Ethell.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4:51 p.m.

Amarrah had a “concentrated area of healing and fresh wounds on the inside of her thigh,” the police statement said.

Darrell A. Reynolds, 29, the child's father, told police she had been acting up lately, and because placing her into “time out” lately was not working, “he began striking Amarrah with a black belt numerous times.”

He struck her so many times that he lost count of the blows, which included strikes to her head, body and legs with the belt, he told police.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that Amarrah died primarily as a result of head injuries. She suffered subdural hemorrhages, the medical term for bleeding in the brain, and multiple bruises consistent with blunt force trauma, said a news release from Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day. The autopsy was performed Thursday at the McLean County Morgue.

“The extensive injuries to the body are consistent with nonaccidental, inflicted trauma,” the release said.

Reynolds, who told police he deserves to die for killing his daughter, is being held on a $2 million bond on a preliminary charge of reckless homicide or manslaughter.

His formal charge will be determined by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office.

Amarrah's mother, Dalvon D. Taylor, is being held on a $500,000 bond on a preliminary charge of endangering the life of a child, resulting in death.

Taylor told police that Reynolds “has been abusing Amarrah for about two years,” Ethell wrote in his statement. She said 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.”

Reynolds also kicked the 4-year-old girl while she was lying on the floor, shoved her into a wall, lifted her off the ground by her neck and severely pinched her, the girl's mother told police.

Taylor told police that she woke up from a nap about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and went upstairs, where she saw Reynolds and the girl. Reynolds told her that Amarrah was “in a time out” and was holding a book on her head as a punishment.

At that time, Taylor “observed a fresh bruise on Amarrah's face.” Taylor then left the room to tend to her two sons. About one minute later, she heard Reynolds yelling. She returned to the living room, where she saw “Amarrah stumbling around, unable to maintain her balance.”

Taylor noticed that Amarrah seemed unable to focus her eyes. The child then fell to the floor. When her mother tried to pick her up, Reynolds “held her back, stating she was fine.”

The girl's mother noticed that Amarrah appeared to stop breathing, she told police. Reynolds then picked up Amarrah and began attempting to blow in her mouth, as he was saying, “sorry,” Taylor told police.

Taylor reported that she knew about the abuse but never reported it to police or the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“Dalvon stated Darrell was also abusive towards her, which prevented her from reporting the abuse,” Ethell wrote in his statement.

Reynolds and Taylor are due in circuit court for their arraignments by Thursday.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer for the Herald & Review.

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