In a small town in Iowa this past August, a nearly four-month-old infant was found unresponsive in his baby swing. Both of his parents now stand accused of murdering the child in a despicable case of neglect, according to the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities reveal that the deceased child had maggots crawling around on his clothing and skin.
Investigators said the baby was found in a powered infant swing at about 1:00 p.m. on August 30 in the apartments on Hilltop Avenue in Alta Vista, Iowa. Court records show that father Zachary Paul Koehn told police that the baby’s mother, Cheyanne Renae Harris, had checked on their child at 9:00 a.m. and said he was fine. Koehn told dispatchers that he checked on the baby again about two hours later, and he was dead.
Investigators studied the growth and development of the maggots found on the baby’s body and determined that he had not had his diaper changed, been given a bath or been removed from the swing in more than a week.
According to a criminal complaint, an autopsy determined that little Sterling Koehn weighed under seven pounds and was only 14 inches long; well below the 5th percentile in both size and weight for his age. On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said Koehn and Harris were arrested and taken to jail. Both have been charged with murder and child endangerment causing death.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Chickasaw County Chief Deputy Reed Palo at 641-394-3121.
The parents are due in court on November 2.
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