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Father and stepmother burned daughter, 11, with pitchfork prior to her death

Father and stepmother charged with torture and murder of girl, 11, ‘burned her with a BBQ fork, kicked her “at full strength” and handcuffed her to TV stand at night during months of horrific abuse before her death’

  • Rene Diaz, 30, and stepmom Crystal Diaz, 29, were charged with torture, mayhem, and four counts of child abuse in the death of 11-year-old Annai Diaz 
  • Investigators have traced the abuse back to October 2020, when the couple say they suspected Annai was stealing depression medication and drinking bleach 
  • The couple allegedly punished Annai by beating her with a spoon, punching and kicking her ‘at full strength’ and burning her skin with a barbeque fork
  • In January, the parents allegedly bolted a pair of handcuffs to the TV stand by their bedroom and locked her up at night, ‘to keep an eye on her’
  • Prosecutors are awaiting autopsy results, including toxicology reports 

A California couple allegedly tortured their 11-year old daughter for months by burning her with a pitchfork and handcuffing her to a TV stand overnight, before she stopped breathing in March.

Investigators have released new grim details surrounding the abuse Annai Diaz allegedly faced at the hands of her father Rene Diaz, 30, and step-mother Crystal Diaz, 29.

The pair were charged with four counts of child abuse, torture, and mayhem after the girl died at their Rodeo, California home at 4.45am on March 23.

The Dizes had called 911 at 3.30am to report that Annai had stopped breathing but by the time emergency crews arrived, there was little they could do.  

The couple allegedly punished 11-year-old Annai Diaz (pictured) by beating her with a wooden spoon, punching and kicking her 'at full strength' and burning her skin with a barbeque fork

Rene Diaz, 30, and stepmom Crystal Diaz, 29, were charged with torture, mayhem, and four counts of child abuse in the death of 11-year-old Annai Diaz (pictured)

Previous court records allege that the parents had abused the 11-year-old from March 9 to March 23 with ‘intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose.’

It’s alleged that the girl also ‘suffered permanent disability and disfigurement and deprivation of a limb, organ and body member’ during the same period.  

Now new court documents are shedding further light on the horrific abuse Annai faced for months prior to her death. 

Investigators have traced the abuse back to October 2020, when the couple began to suspect Annai was stealing depression medication and drinking bleach and hand sanitizer from their kitchen sink, the Mercury News reported.  

Crystal Diaz, 29,(left)  and Rene Diaz, 30, (right) were charged with torture, mayhem, and four counts of child abuse in the death of 11-year-old Annai Diaz

Crystal Diaz, 29,(left)  and Rene Diaz, 30, (right) were charged with torture, mayhem, and four counts of child abuse in the death of 11-year-old Annai Diaz

During the winter months 11-year-old Annai Diaz (pictured) was allegedly deprived of a blanket to sleep with, court documents allege

During the winter months 11-year-old Annai Diaz (pictured) was allegedly deprived of a blanket to sleep with, court documents allege

In response, the couple punished Annai by beating her with a wooden spoon, punching and kicking her ‘at full strength’ and burning her skin with a barbeque fork, court documents said. 

Investigators said that in January the parents allegedly bolted a pair of handcuffs to the TV stand by their bedroom and locked her up at night, ‘to keep an eye on her,’ the Mercury News reported.  

During the winter months Annai was allegedly deprived of a blanket to sleep with, court documents allege. 

During a search of the home, police reportedly found the handcuffs, as well as cellphone video depicting instances of the girl being beaten.   

On the morning that Annai died, her parents told police that she had developed a bad cough before she eventually stopped breathing. 

The couple told police they put a plastic bag over the girl’s head in an attempt to assist her with her breathing and when her condition didn’t improve they called 911- the first time they ever attempted to seek medical attention for the girl, despite claims that they were concerned months earlier about her drinking bleach, court documents said. 

Prosecutors are currently awaiting autopsy results, including toxicology reports, from the coroners office to determine if the parents will be charged directly related to the 11-year-old’s death. 

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