Local News

Slain Smithfield girl died from head injury

Posted November 24, 2010

— A 4-year-old Smithfield girl who died in July suffered bleeding in her skull from blunt force head injuries, according to a report released by the North Carolina Medical Examiner on Wednesday. 

Teghan Skiba died July 19 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, three days after she had been taken to a Smithfield hospital. She had cuts, lacerations, bite marks, head trauma and sexual assault injuries, authorities said.

The medical examiner's report said the girl had suffered extensive abuse, including beatings.

Authorities charged Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 21, of 750 Old Sanders Road in Smithfield, with first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with her death.

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

Teghan had been living with her mother and Richardson in a barn on his grandparents' property for four weeks before Reyes left her in his care on July 6 to go to New Mexico for military training.

Investigators determined that the physical abuse of Teghan, which included forcing her to consume alcohol, started before Reyes left town, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell has said. So, she was aware of the situation in which she was leaving her daughter, he said.

Richardson initially told hospital workers that Teghan had fallen off the bed. He later 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."

Reyes' is out of jail on bond. Richardson remains in jail under a $1 million bond.


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  • jjwood2424 Nov 26, 2010

    Her mom needs to be in jail for murder...this story has me lost for words!!! Only 6 comments!!! I wonder why????

  • Sherlock Nov 26, 2010

    If she was aware of the situation why is she not charge with the same crimes.

  • prophetdavis08 Nov 26, 2010

    Very sad story, I pray that justice be done!

  • anastasia Nov 24, 2010

    What ever happened to the grandparents on whose property this shed was located? Why weren't they charged with anything? They knew their grandson was living in the shed, and had to have known there was a child living there with him.

  • Rebelyell Nov 24, 2010

    He "lost it" but he has no fear of losing his life, thanks to all the "help" from the death penalty opponents in NC. Great job you guys. No fear of a real penalty, just 3 squares a day and a real roof over his head at our expense.

  • Whosays Nov 24, 2010

    The same sick people that are all over this world who walk around and prey on people and do not care about human life. Their life should be taken in the same way.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Nov 24, 2010

    What kind of animal would do something like that? I'm speechless...