Local News

New charges filed in Smithfield child torture case

Posted June 10, 2011

— A Smithfield man charged last year with torturing a 4-year-old girl who later died now faces child sex charges in the case.

A Johnston County grand jury this week indicted Jonathan Douglas Richardson on charges of child rape and sexual offense with a child.

Richardson, 22, of 750 Old Sanders Road, was charged last July with first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with the death of Teghan Skiba.

Teghan died of blunt force head injuries, and authorities said she had cuts, lacerations, bite marks and sexual assault injuries.

The girl had been living with her mother, Helen Reyes, and Richardson in a barn on his grandparents' property for four weeks before Reyes left her in his care to go to New Mexico for military training.

Richardson told Johnston County investigators that he "lost it" and whipped the girl with a cord after she went to the bathroom in the bed they were sharing, according to search warrants. He explained that he is "bipolar and little things set him off."

Investigators said they determined that the physical abuse of Teghan, which included forcing her to consume alcohol, started before Reyes left town.

Reyes, 26, of 5255 Passenger Place in Raleigh, is charged with negligent child abuse in connection with her daughter's death.


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  • medeanna32 Jun 14, 2011

    There are special places in hell for people like that...

  • ewcheercoach Jun 10, 2011

    Hell is not hot enough for people like that. This story has broken my heart since the first time I heard it. RIP Teghan, I hope that you have found the peace and love in heaven that you were robbed of here on Earth.

  • berrylious20 Jun 10, 2011

    It breaks my heart to here about how people who are surposed to be adults and role models for children can hurt them in so many ways! That mom knew what was going on in that place And I feel like the grandparents know more than they are saying! God bless that little girl may she REST IN PEACE

  • beachlvr0804 Jun 10, 2011

    what a beautiful litle girl..... so sad that she will never be able to reach her full potntialin life. It was stolen from her

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 10, 2011

    hellorhighwaters -

    When this story first came out, all we heard about was what fine upstanding citizens of Smithfield the grandparents were, and they said they didn't know their grandson was living in the barn.

    I thought, yeah...pfffttt

    And I bet they have some great land to sell in south Florida too.

  • hellorhighwaters Jun 10, 2011

    RB aka Spirt Warrior Woman.....My thoughts also. I just can't believe that the grandparents didn't hear this poor little girl sreaming. As a grandmother, it's just natural to see what goings on in your barn with a young 'man' and a 4 year old little girl who never comes out of that barn.

    Either she didn't care or she was afraid to tell what she thought might be going on in that barn. Either way, the grandparents, in my opionion are just as guilty as the imbalanced grandson.

    This poor baby never had a chance.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 10, 2011

    NC Reader - "RB -- You, as a total stranger, love that child more than these people (and I use that word loosely) did. There are so many who can't have children and would love to have raised that child. Sad."

    Thank you.

    I'd love to save them all. Thank God there are many like me.

    Our nephew is serving with the 4th Marines in Afganistan. They are building a new base in an undisclosed location. He said the place is "surrounded with broken children" who rush to whatever adult they see for aid, for protection, instead of running from the sound of firearms and bombs. And he said improvised devices get some of these children.

    It's heartbreaking. And Lord, I hate our troops are seeing this. It will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

    Where are the aid societies for the children there? I don't know.

  • fffaircloth Jun 10, 2011


  • NC Reader Jun 10, 2011

    RB -- You, as a total stranger, love that child more than these people (and I use that word loosely) did. There are so many who can't have children and would love to have raised that child. Sad.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 10, 2011

    I will never disbelieve that the grandparents knew this animal was living in their barn even though they say they didn't know.

    Lord, the pain, horror and indignities that beautiful child must've suffered at his hands.

    There are times when the death penalty seems not enough. In my mind, this is one of them.

    Praying for anyone who may have TRULY loved her. Seems maybe there was no one. Poor thing!