Father says death of 2-year-old girl found with chemical burns could’ve been avoided

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The father of a two-year-old Marion girl who died this week partly from a flash burn is demanding answers.

Marion Police found Arianna Carmack unresponsive in her mother’s mobile home Wednesday night.

According to an autopsy report, she suffered a flash burn from an unknown chemical and had burns on her head, chest and back. The coroner ruled that was only a factor in her death. The baby girl also sustained multiple contusions on her body that appeared to be healing.

Her mother’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Donald Riddle, was babysitting the girl at the time of her death.  He was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

“She was just the sweetest little girl ever,” said Arianna’s father, Steve Carmack. (I’m) just hurt. Destroyed.”

Carmack lives in the same mobile home park as his daughter and is angry that he wasn’t allowed to watch her. He blames a family feud.

He said Arianna’s grandfather also tried to visit the little girl this weekend, but was turned away.

“My dad went to go see her the other day and she told him that she was sick,” said Carmack. “That he couldn’t have her. And that’s the last time we heard anything.”

Fox59 asked Carmack if he had ever met Riddle, and he replied he had not. He said he has heard things about the man but did not wish to elaborate.

Carmack said he believes Arianna would still be alive and well if she had been in his care.

“I’m right down the road and I could’ve watched her,” he said. “As a father, you don’t wish that upon any kid, you know? And for that to happen to your own, it’s kind of horrible.”

Fox59 tried to speak with Arianna’s mother, but no one answered the door at the home.

Carmack said there will be a candlelight vigil held at his home on Saturday at 8 p.m.


  • Clayton

    This is what happens when the courts automatically defer children to their mothers with out considering how much of a scumbag her or her new screw might be. If they took more time figuring out who the better parent was this would not be as common of an issue.

      • K

        The girl had healing bruises. Maybe if she paid enough attention to her child she would have known she was in danger. But like most scum she didn’t give a crap

      • Dillion

        You're probably not the best person to be sitting in on your cousin's defense on here. Like I said in a comment earlier b4 I seen this, I don't want to argue the fact she did or did not know about the abuse bc she truly may not have but regardless, she needs to be held accountable for her responsibility -or- lack there of. If she didn't know of it, that meant she wasn't giving her child a bath, changing her clothes etc. <—Those are things that mothers/parents should be doing. Not a bf who could've been abusing her in more than one way!!

      • R u 4 real

        She picked a real winner. Didn't she? One can be completely negligent and worthless and not break the law. Either way, she has to live with her culpability. Thank you, very much.

    • Anita LLoyd

      the courts did not automatically defer anything. Check the damn public records before you open your mouth . I guess its true what they say ignorance is bliss

    • Bobbie

      Well were awfully judgemental!!!! Thats my cousin your talking about and if you dont know her then you should'nt be. Shes one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. So if you dont mind you need to keep your mouth shut about her theres ALWAYS two sides to a story.

  • cjmo2662

    How sad that the father was only down the street, but wasn't allowed to care for his child! I hope they charge the mom with neglect, too, for leaving the baby in the care of worthless scum.

    Condolences to the father; it's too bad the mom was involved with scum. I'm sure she knew he was abusing her daughter, but left her with him anyway. The burns and bruises were probably why he wasn't allowed to see her.

      • Dillion

        It probably won't be long tho…Whether she knew or not bc if the baby had healing wounds and the mother didn't notice, that's just as bad & charges for that could range from abuse to neglect… Like anyone says, how did the mom not know something was going on BUT in her defense there is a slim possibility the bf portrayed himself as Mr.Wonderful. My prayers go out to everyone (except the scum bucket)

      • bobby

        The mother had to kno…as a parent ,rephrase, attentive loving caregiver, you know how/where your baby gets a scrape or bruise..she failed to properly protect the child from harm-I bet they do arrest her also..the state is just collecting evidence..we will see the moms mugshot next..

      • beersgood

        would you not check on your baby when you got off work?i feel your answer would be yes so there is what the mother did wrong and then sleeping and ordering pizza going to see her real boyfriend all says wrong to me.

    • Anita lloyd

      your right how sad the father lived down the street and right behind the grandma where his daughter played outside but instead of him stopping to talk to her he chose to walk on into his own home. I am the childs grandmother and mother to the young lady you are slandering, how sad for you that you could comment on something you know nothing about and want to pass judgement. I think i would like to be in your presence on judgement day when God judges you

      • anita

        also Im sorry you lost your grandaughter from her picture she was a beautiful little girl prayers for your family

      • um no

        okay so the father was supposed to argue and fight with your husband who is a convicted felon on a couple levels to see his daughter maybe you and your husband should have stayed out of the visitation and the father could have enjoyed the time with his daughter. no worries about argueing with your husband now because he is headed back to prison but its a little late

    • wtfwit

      no as sad as it is the mother hasnt been charged to my knoledge i rad that she was there a while slept ate pizza even went to her boyfriends the one she had watching her child she called him the house bitch i believe i rea she got off at 1 am and didnt see her child until the next evening the interview is free to the public its in this riddle monsters affadavit for probable cause at the grant count court house

  • Ronald

    "Carmack lives in the same mobile home park as his daughter and is angry that he wasn’t allowed to watch her. "

    Guess this kind of explains things now doesn't it…

  • Becky

    Take a look at the babies daddy. on FB,,,it quickly explains why he lives in a trailer park…that being said,if he loved his baby so much, how could he let this go on for as long as it did if they lived in the same park.
    He couldnt' tell that his baby was being abused by this animal???

    • Austin

      "This is what happens when the courts automatically defer children to their mothers with out considering how much of a scumbag her or her new screw might be. If they took more time figuring out who the better parent was this would not be as common of an issue." This is the truth… If the mother says the dad cant be around the kid then thats all that can be done without going to jail… And not everyone can live in a their dream home. Maybe the guy made some bad choices but don't judge him based on where he lives…

    • Dillion

      It doesn't matter where they live or what they look like. There was a ''family fued'' therefore the mother wouldn't let the child go to the father's home…What was the dad supposed to do call the cops-nothing they can do. Call the courts & wait a year for a hearing?? Unfortunately there is a fault in the system for children who need help the most and for parents trying to do the right thing. How could the father not tell…Cause he didn't see the child!!! Ask yourself how did the MOTHER not know.

  • K

    The mother should be charged with the same thing. She had healing bruises right… Obviously she knew something. People disgust me.

    • Dillion

      I don't want to argue the fact she did or did not know about the abuse bc she truly may not have but regardless, she needs to be held accountable for her responsibility -or- lack there of. If she didn't know of it, that meant she wasn't giving her child a bath, changing her clothes etc.

  • bobby

    The mother .the cousin..the screw of the day..they all knew. Injuries past/present sooo sad ..no future..lock them up.let's sort it out in front of jury…they may have to sell the trailor,or did the methlab burn it also.., assuming the burns didn't come from roasting marshmellows ..

    • anonymous

      At least this child is in a much better place, where she is loved and cared for. A place where she won’t remember the abuse she was enduring, nor remember the pain and suffering she endured that led to her death. She can now be a child to run and play and be happy. She will no longer need the protection she obviously was not given here in this life. Justice will be served to all involved, whether it be the man who did it, or those who did nothing to protect her. In any case, if they do not pay legally, they will have to live with themselves, their guilt, and they too will face their maker one day.

      • Anonymous

        The man that done this is guilty and should be punished. The mother should be punished also. She had to know about the "healing" bruises and contusions on her child, therefore she was either abusing the child too, or she knowingly left the child with this monster. Either way leaving her child with a man who was abusing her is no different then if she was also abusing the child herself, one is just as bad as the other. Though the father may not have to face "legal" action, he is just as guilty for not taking more action to protect her. This monster was living with his child in the same mobile home park for several months, yet he had never met him? He also stated he had "heard" things, but didn't want to elaborate on what he heard. Still he did nothing to enforce his rights to see the child (such as involving the police to enforce his custody rights, or calling CPS and having this man or what he "heard" investigated.) Nor did he take any steps to see what was wrong with the child when his father was told she was sick. He only stated it was the last they had heard. Why would he not call, or go over to see what was ailing the child. I would not allow a "family feud" keep me from seeing my child or meeting and finding out who was now living with my child, especially if I had "heard" things I was not able to elaborate on. The father obviously wasn't doing enough to see his child, otherwise, he too would have seen the bruises and contusions. He could have seen the child if he really wanted to, and if he really tried. There had to be a reason he did not try to enforce his custodial rights of visitation. I don't see where this child's parents did anything to protect her from this monster, and not protecting her is just as bad as doing it to her.

      • wtfwit

        no sense in argueing with stupidity this mother is as much to blame as the monster that did it but with the justice system so screwed in grant county its likely that she will not be charged and then we can all worry about her other two children being in her custody. if she was to involved in her own life to see her 2 year old needed her then i dont see how she is capable of raising the other two.i read the and just about every name came back to something criminal this family has a problem and these kids are stuck in that problem. so lets just pray for the kids in that family that god will watch over them because if god wasnt watching over these children i dont think they would have a fighting chance

    • Anita lloyd

      no past injuries the bruises are those that all 2 yr old children, there was no meth lab. or maybe you have smoked so much yourself that your imagining things the last i looked the trailor was still there. How do you like people sitting in judgement on you crackhead………..

      • Anonymous

        You may be the mother of this child's mom but you have no right to go around calling people a crack head . Or saying there dumb ! You need to stop being so rude and get a reality check !

  • Anonymous

    The man that is being charged guilty is a close family member of mine and he had 6 brothers and 3 sisters he has always loved kids I don't believe that he would have done this to this poor child . And I may be wrong but I don't think he did it . Either the mother and him did it together or the mother did it . The mom had to know about the bruises . The child was most likely abused and that plus the chemical burns built up and that pushed it to far and it ended up resulting on this tragic thing . They should both be charged with the same punishment . The mother needs to be questioned just as much as don

    • anonymous

      they try she didnt answer the door. why do u stick by your family that didnt. i hope i am wrong but family that sitck with family they are usely in

    • anita lloyd

      well you obviously are not to proud or sure of this family member or you would have signed your name. the mother is my child and i dont give a damn what you think or feel especially if you are related to this monster. I signed my name to this because i know my daughter is innocent.

    • BOBBIE

      Well your close family member did hurt my baby cousin. As for my cousin your running your mouth about, I grew up with her and she would'nt ever hurt any child!!! She helped take care of her nefew when he was born and she was still a kid. She has been around all the babies in our family and NEVER hurt anyone. so please keep your mouth of MY COUSIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • robin long

    My daughter also lives there and from wht I hear… the mother def needs to b punished as well!! And my heart goes out to the father because wht u people dnt knlw is tht the father has pushed issues of the bruises to the cps several times and has called the cops but still nothing was done for this child! So much tht the public does not know! Jst watch…her mug shot will be next!

    • anita lloyd

      really just shows your intelligence, and your daughters. the father was only allowed supervised visits and chose not to take them only 1 time did he show up and it was for 35 min. i know for a fact because i was the supervisor of the visits. this is definatly a matter of court records feel free to look this up if you know how to find out the truth

  • Courtney

    I knew this baby.. I babysat her almost every weekend from the time she was born. I worked with the babys mother and I know the father well. They are very close family friends of my family. But I don't believe she would ever hurt Arianna.

  • mike

    me and steve were raised together and if you don't know the man personally shut your fuckin mouth living in a trailor does not have shit to do with it. child protection services can be contacted loads of times and nothing happens i've seen it all to much here in marion and if they do get involved its a month later and no follow up and i don't know how many times the father is pushed away by the mother just to get back at him, this has been happening to me for 13 yrs the women always get the kids and the daddies always get the shaft they knew they had to bullshit steve cause i know him well he would of ripped his fuckin head off its not his fault that these young sluts dump their kids on everyone but the real dad. she was running around all day where is her responsibility. i am only 30 yrs old and ive been with em all when they see a new guy its like black snake moan itchin for the d even if the kid is in the same bed they don't care ask any man who has lived the life, and i also know the boyfriend have his whole life he is a fuckin slow head and no caring mother would ever leave there kids with him not for 5 min but these young sluts get the itch and gotta scratch. she knew damn weel her kids where being beat and roaming the house all day and night cause he to fucked up to stay awake or watch some bitch he's fuckin extra baggage but you know it all fucks can speculate all you want but truth be known you don't know what the fuck yrrr talkin about i live here and know them all talked to steve last night i know whats real i am not watchin news and running my fuckin mouth about a daddy who right now can barely eat,sleep or keep his sanity thinkin of his babygirl he don't need you ignorant fuckin comments to weigh on his massive pyle of shit if he decides to come on this site

    • .anita lloyd

      neither does my daughter. you are ignorant and i expect to see your name on the news soon sounds like you have a real problem with women. maybe i can sit in judgement on you when you go to court because of your anger issues. but you know all you bastard men are just alike right, because if all women are alike so are all men. Not my judgement yours. fyi i have 2 sons who have full custody of their children, so maybe the judge knew what he was doing in your case huh

      • wtfwit

        I know a little more about your family history than you might think and if you get technical one of your sons got custody of his children because the mother somehow went missing right out of the picture. your other son from what ive heard only has his child because a mother moved into a house that she was buying and your son argued the point of moving again yet he owns no house he lives with a girl ive heard they are not even dating ive also read where this don riddle guy was the HOUSE BITCH those words came from your daughters mouth in the investigation.

      • concerned

        I assume you are the grandmother did you not know what was going on?as a mother didnt you inform your daughter that a mother should allways check on her child?didnt her father ever tell her to watch what man she lets around her children?you said that you have 2 sons who have custody of there children yet from what this case demonstrates sometimes the court doesnt make the best decision sometimes the court only hears money.

  • Frustrated

    This is happening with my husband CPS and the courts don't care the child isn't getting parented right and abused, exposed to things children should not be. The courts need to change. I am a mother and I love my children but custody shouldn't automatically be deffered to the mothers which happens too often in cases like these!

  • Sean

    I am a good father who hired a good lawyer, payed lots of money and still only got very little more then the normal and always fear about something like this. It stinks that the mother automatically gets the child.

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