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Warrants: Man accused of torturing girl says he 'lost it'

Posted July 20, 2010

— A man accused of torturing a 4-year-old girl who later died told detectives he "lost it" and whipped the girl with a cord after she urinated and defecated in the bed they were sharing, according to search warrants released Tuesday.

Teghan Alyssa Skiba, who had had cuts, lacerations, bite marks, head trauma and sexual assault injuries, died at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill Monday night, according to Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 21, of 750 Old Sanders Road in Smithfield, initially claimed the girl had fallen off a bed and that he had applied an ice pack to her head. He later told a detective that he "became upset" with the girl for soiling the air mattress where they slept.

Richardson explained that he is "bipolar and little things set him off," according to the search warrant.

Authorities said Richardson took Teghan to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield at about noon Friday. Hospital workers reported the case to authorities, and the girl was taken to UNC Hospitals.

Richardson was being held without bond Tuesday in the Johnston County jail on charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse.

Bizzell said the investigation into Teghan's death is ongoing, and others might be indicted in the case.

"The investigation is in no way over. It is ongoing," the sheriff said. "There is the possibility of others being charged. We’ll continue to work on it and go from there, but I will tell you that anybody that had a part directly or indirectly that meets the elements of a crime could be charged."

Bizzell said it's possible that the girl's mother, Helen Reyes, could face charges. Reyes, who was dating Richardson, left Teghan with him on July 6 while she left North Carolina for military training, according to the search warrant.

"In a case like this, you don't leave any stones unturned," Bizzell said.

Teghan's maternal aunt said Reyes and the rest of the family were too distraught Tuesday to speak. Teghan's father is in the Wake County jail on unrelated charges and couldn't be reached for comment.

Johnston County investigators seized an array of items from the barn where Richardson and Teghan were staying, the 2001 GMC pickup Richardson used to take the girl to the hospital and the house where Richardson's grandparents live. The barn, which is on the grandparents' property, has no running water or bathroom.

Items seized included an air mattress, a condom wrapper, a shotgun, a rifle, ammunition, knives, a camera, duct tape pieces, a green, leafy substance, drug paraphernalia, guitar string and a drop cord, according to a warrant.


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  • jgilchr Jul 29, 2010

    This is easy after he is convicted put him in general population making sure all the other prisoners know what he did.

  • Canes Girl Forever Jul 29, 2010

    Rev RB....I usually agree with you. But, guess what...the mother SHOULD be charged. She knew what the living conditions were like in that barn. And, she had to know her boyfriend was not stable enough or mature enough to care for her daughter. I haven't heard anything about this but I bet there was no air conditioning either. The mother, the jerk that killed the little girl, the grandparents...they should all be charged with crimes and given the stiffest punishment possible.

  • laudergal08 Jul 28, 2010

    Everyone that knew of the child living in a barn with no running water or bathroom with a man is to be held accountable...How many mothers would allow their daughter or son to live in that environment? The grandparents? The same goes for them.... Its absolutely wrong!! Wake up people!!

  • Adelinthe Jul 28, 2010

    Me-N-Nc - "Did this mom get charged yet?"

    For what!?!

    Going to serve her country, MY country and YOURS???

    These abusers can be very charming. His grandparents covered for him and sheltered for him for years. THEY should be held as accessories, not the mother.

    And prayers for the healing of the child should be first and foremost in our minds - not pointing fingers at other parties, especially innocent ones.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Jul 28, 2010

    "A man accused of torturing a 4-year-old girl who later died told detectives he "lost it" and whipped the girl with a cord after she urinated and defecated in the bed they were sharing..."

    That's common when someone's been raped and sodomized.

    That poor beautiful child.

    Personally, I can't think of a punishment good enough for this beast. Even execution is too quick and unsatisfying.

    Praying for the child, and praying no judge or jury gives this beast any easy ways out.

    God bless.


  • Me-N-Nc Jul 27, 2010

    Did this mom get charged yet?

  • datruf Jul 23, 2010

    Gee luv4ubaskets maybe the child's MOTHER could possbily take some of the blame here since SHE gave birth to the girl. God forbid the mother be held accountable!

  • luv4ubaskets Jul 22, 2010

    Let's get educated folks. Biopolar people are not known to do this kind of stuff to a child. I for one don't believe he is bipolar. Who diagnosed him, himself? He is trying to skirt a possible death penalty. He will say anything. This guy had drugs, according the the police, in the barn apt. Duh, believe me the drugs and binging on them probably had 99.9% to do with his actions.

  • luv4ubaskets Jul 22, 2010

    Kittyeyes - i am sure these people are fine upstanding christian citizens. How do you explain them alledgely turning a blind eye to their grandson having a 4-year old girl in his care that was not biologically his. It appears from what you say they were aware of his criminal background. First of all I am not going to have a son of mine take care of no 4-year old girl on my property that is not biologically his and the mother left town. I will be calling social services to see if they can find the nearest kin period.

  • heaf200 Jul 22, 2010

    If anyone hears of a vigil for just this little angel, please post - I don't care that I live in Wake County, I will go and take my daughter who is 13 and so torn up over this story....This little angel deserves a HUGE, vigil all in her name alone, and I hope she receives a funeral befitting an angel. I cry every time I read this story.