A couple in the East Bay town of Rodeo has been charged with torturing and abusing an 11-year-old girl over a period of four months, and they may soon be charged with her murder.

30-year-old Rene Diaz, the girl's father, and 29-year-old Crystal McKinsey Diaz, her stepmother, have been charged with torture and aggravated mayhem in the abuse of the girl, identified only in court documents as Jane Doe because of her age. The girl was found dead of apparent severe abuse by Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputies in the couple's home on the 10 block of Railroad Avenue in Rodeo in the early morning hours of March 23, following a 911 call.

As the Mercury News reports, an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death is ongoing. Neither Diaz nor McKinsey Diaz has been charged in the girl's death, but the investigation is ongoing. They are both due back in court to be arraigned on April 14.

District Attorney's Office spokesperson Scott Alonso announced that the bail for each defendant has been set at $1,400,000, and they are currently in custody in Martinez.

Investigators appear to have found evidence of specific acts of abuse on specific dates, as the Mercury News notes, citing that the period of abuse began on November 27, 2020 — the day after Thanksgiving.

Court records allege that the girl was tortured between March 9 and March 23 with "intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose." Regarding the aggravated mayhem charge, investigators say the girl suffered "permanent disability and disfigurement and deprivation of a limb, organ and body member" during March 9 to 23 time period as well. Further specific details of the abuse have not been made public.

Back in February, another Contra Costa County couple, 35-year-old Ray Ray Darn and 28-year-old Marilyn Northington, were arrested on suspicion of infanticide and child abuse causing great bodily injury after they brought a non-responsive infant into an emergency room in Richmond.

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