COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A Columbus mother and stepfather have been arrested, both accused of being responsible for the November 2014 death of their 3-year-old child.
The stepfather, Montarel Crouch, 23, was arrested on Nov. 20, 2014, charged with two counts of cruelty to children and causing excessive physical and mental pain.
The child, 3-year-old Zyasiah Knight, had suffered multiple fractured ribs, allegedly at the hands of Crouch. She died on Nov. 13, 2014 at Midtown Medical Center as a result of those injuries.
The child's mother, Jamie Lea Ace, 28, was charged with two counts of cruelty to children and arrested on Dec. 22, 2014. The police report she did not commit the crime that led to her daughter's death, but allegedly failed to seek medical treatment for the child's broken arm and fractured ribs. The police report also indicates Ace was not in the home at the time of the incident.
Ace has since been bonded out of jail on a $10,000 bond. The mother was also pregnant at the time of the incident and has since given birth. The newborn is now in foster care, along with a 5-year-old child. Another child, a 7-year-old, is in the custody of his aunt.
An attempt to contact Ace was made for this story, but our calls were not returned.
The Muscogee County District Attorney's Office said the charges may or may not be upgraded to coincide with Zyasiah's death.