Her death rocked the valley. 10-year-old Ame Deal was locked in a small trunk and died. Late last week, several of her relatives were arrested for her death.
We got ahold of her her birth mother, who lives in Kansas.
Shirley Deal last saw her child Ame in 2006. She says she trusted the family members who were taking care of her daughter.
Shirley first learned of her daughter's death on Facebook. She claims she had no idea her relatives were abusing little Ame.
"I trusted everybody. I trusted them. All my heart. My heart broken. Ame ain't never coming back," Shirley Deal told us.
Police say the relatives put Ame in the foot locker as a form of punishment - they didn't think she was 'related to them by blood.' She lost her life when she suffocated inside.
Detectives say they also forced Ame to eat hot sauce and dog feces as punishment and sleep on the shower floor every night with no pillow or blanket.
"I'm not going to be done till something is done. They better stay in jail. They better stay in jail for life. That is a life. You're messing with a baby. She was a baby. She was not a baby, but she was my baby," she says.
Now Shirley blames herself for not bringing her daughter home.
"It feels like it was my fault, everybody says no it's not… they won't let me take her out. They won't let me take her out of that house. I tried."
John and Samantha Allen, both 23, were arrested, as well as 62-year-old Judith Deal, 44-year-old Cynthia Stoltzmann. The Allens are Ame's distant cousins, and they were babysitting.
The Allens were booked on first degree murder -- and Stoltzmann, her aunt, and Deal, Ame's grandmother, were booked on child abuse and kidnapping.