PHOENIX - Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and the director of the Department of Child Safety, Greg McKay, confirmed Tuesday the department was actively investigating allegations of child abuse involving 7-year-old Sanaa Cunningham when the girl died.
The allegations, three in total, were all reported to the department in 2016.
A press release from the department stated the allegations of neglect and abuse against Germayne Cunningham -- the girl's father -- and his wife Lisa were reported in March and again in October. Both times the department ruled the claims were unsubstantiated.
The third report came in December and was still in progress when Sanaa died a few months later in February.
According to the release, the department says there was not sufficient evidence to justify removing Sanaa from her home and added the girl had a well documented history of both psychiatric and behavioral health issues.
Montgomery and McKay spoke at a Tuesday morning press conference and highlighted several improvements they claim the department has made in protecting children from abusers since the horrific death of Ame Deal at the hands of her own family.
When questioned why the parents of Sanaa were not immediately arrested after the indictment for the girl's death was issued on Dec. 1, Montgomery stated he does not have the authority to order someone's arrest and only in very specific cases could that action be taken.
The couple is due in court later this month.