Trial starts for man accused in two-year-old’s death

Donald Riddle. Photo courtesy: Grant County Sheriff's Department
Donald Riddle. Photo courtesy: Grant County Sheriff's Department

MARION, Ind. (WANE)  Two-year-old Arianna Carmack was found dead, covered in burns, in her crib in Marion on February 13, 2013.

The trial for the man prosecutors say is responsible for Arianna’s death started on Tuesday. 

Donald Riddle is charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, and possession of a controlled substance. Investigators said the two-year-old child was covered in flash burns and Riddle failed to seek medical help. 

According to court documents NewsChannel 15 obtained in February 2013, Donald Riddle was watching the young girl and her siblings at Maplewood Village mobile home park in Marion on that day in February 2013. 

See the full transcript of oral probable hearing. 

The mother of the young girl, Wanetta Lloyd,  said Riddle lived with her and was the caregiver for her kids when she was at work.  That mobile home is where police found two-year-old Arianna Carmack dead.  They said she had burns on her face and all over her torso.  Her skin was red and leathery.

A burn expert said it looks like the girl’s shirt caught on fire.  Doctors believe her shirt wasn’t taken off fast enough once it was on fire.

Instead of taking the girl in to be seen by a doctor, police say Riddle put her in her crib where she later died. Doctors believe she may have been in extreme pain and distress.

When her mother got home from work, she never checked on the girl.  She said Riddle told her the girl was sleeping and was fine.  The following night after dinner, Lloyd went to go check on the girl.  That’s when she found the girl dead.

She asked Riddle to call 911, but he never did.  Instead he fled to Sweetser, where police eventually found him.

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