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Cierre Wood, who played five games with two National Football League teams, appeared in court Thursday in Las Vegas on suspicion of first-degree murder after a 5-year-old girl whom he was accused of abusing died.
Wood, 28, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse or neglect, authorities said. Suspicion of first-degree murder was added Thursday after the girl, La'Rayah Davis, died, they said.
He was ordered held without bond Thursday afternoon pending the filing of state charges.
Wood's girlfriend and the girl's mother, Amy Taylor, 25, was also arrested and was charged with child abuse or neglect. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
Police told NBC affiliate KSNV that La'Rayah had bruises on her torso, legs and abdomen. Prosecutors said in court Thursday that a cause of death hadn't been determined but that an autopsy had revealed a large liver laceration, The Associated Press reported.
"She had so many people she touched, and she was only 5," said La'Rayah's father, Danaun Davis, who traveled from California to be in the courtroom Thursday.
"That's the most tragic thing," Davis told reporters. "I can't call her. I just talked to her that Monday before. 'Dad, I'll see you in two weeks.' The next day, I get a call that she's gone."
Wood, who ran for almost 2,500 yards at the University of Notre Dame, appeared in three games for the Houston Texans in 2013 and two games for the Buffalo Bills in 2015. He rushed five times for 4½ yards in his career before playing in the Canadian Football League.