On July 12, 2011, the body of 10-year-old Ame Deal in a Phoenix home where she lived with her aunt, grandmother and cousins.
Ame was found in a padlocked storage box.
It was the peculiar circumstances of her premature death that left authorities scratching their head and the rest of the country livid.
At first, police theorized that Ame's death may have been accident caused by a game of hide-and-seek. However, upon further investigation it was revealed that poor Ame was locked in the container as a punishment for taking a popsicle without permission.
The girl's cousin and her husband, Samantha and John Allen, were slapped with first-degree murder charges after they confessed to the crime. While the other family members who were living with the victim at the time of her death were charged with child abuse and kidnapping.
"This child died at the hands of those who were supposed to love and care for her," said Sergeant Trent Crump, a spokesman for the Phoenix police. "This case has turned the stomachs of some of most seasoned detectives."
The perpetrators of the horrible crime also admitted to forcing Ame to "perform exercises, such as jumping jacks, running in circles and back bends, for over an hour" before making her climb into the box which she could barely even fit in.
Nearly six years later, there's been a major development in Ame's case. Find out what it is on the next page.
While John's trial does not start until August 7, Samantha's was slated to begin on Monday, however it has been pushed back until later this week.
When it comes to the charges, prosecutors are taking into account Ame's preventable death as well as the horrendous abuse she suffered from the hands of her family.
In addition to being treated as liar and a thief, Ame was forced to "eat dog feces, crush aluminum cans barefoot, consume hot sauce and get in the storage box on other occasions. She also was kicked in the face, beaten with a wooden paddle and forcibly dunked after being thrown in a cold swimming pool," said the investigators.
According to various media reports, both parties have pleaded not guilty but that hasn't stopped prosecutors involved in the case from seeking the death penalty against them.
Do you think this punishment is appropriate? Let us know in the comments!