Police say a 5-year-old is dead, beaten to death with a shoe by her dad. The crime has investigators and neighbors in disbelief. 

Albuquerque Police say they were called to an apartment inside a complex on Amherst near the Puerto Del Sol Golf Course. That’s in the area of Gibson and Carlisle.

They found 5-year-old Sarah Dubois-Gilbeau possibly in cardiac arrest. The father, 36-year-old Brandon Reynolds, told police his daughter had a heart condition and stopped breathing—but police say her injuries didn’t match his story. 

“When AFR arrived on scene at that location the injuries were not consistent with what they were told,” said Officer Simon Drobik.

They found blood on the walls and carpet and bruising all over the girl’s body consistent with the treads from a shoe. The girl later died at the hospital, and the father’s story began to change.

He said she didn’t want to do her homework late Thursday night, and it “triggered him.” He says he started spanking her with a water shoe and then blacked out and didn’t know what he was doing.

“It appears this father brutally beat this child,” said Officer Drobik.

Neighbors say the 5-year-old was very quiet and shy. They say her father, who is now charged with her murder, was very strict. 

“She had big brown eyes. She loved pink, purple and blue,” a neighbor said. 

They say Reynolds was strict and that they knew he would spank the 5-year-old sometimes, but never in front of them. Then, Thursday night, neighbors say they did hear a commotion coming from Reynold’s apartment.  

Police say a neighbor told them she heard Reynolds yelling “get up!” and then what sounded like someone being hit with a shoe. She told officers she recorded some of what she heard. 

Police say the girl recently moved to Albuquerque from California to live with her dad. He does not appear to have a criminal record in New Mexico. 

It’s not clear if a neighbor called 911 after midnight, or if the father did. He’s now charged with child abuse resulting in death, which carries a life sentence.