An Iowa couple was arrested Wednesday after their 4-month-old son’s body was allegedly found covered in maggots in his swing.
The Kansas City Star reported that Cheyanne Harris, 20, and Zachary Koehn, 28, were charged with first-degree murder and felony child endangerment months after Sterling Koehn’s death.
The father called 911 on August 30 to their Alta Vista apartment, where Chickasaw County sheriff’s deputies and medics allegedly discovered Sterling’s body in a powered swing. Authorities also noted that Sterling was located in a bedroom away from where his parents and an older sibling slept.
An autopsy conducted on Sterling unearthed “maggots in various stages of development in his clothing and on his skin,” according to the Des Moines Register. The forensic entomologist who studied the maggots determined that the infant hadn’t been taken out the swing in more than a week and hadn’t gotten a diaper change or bath in that time.
WHO-TV reported that the State Medical Examiner’s Office also claimed that Sterling weighed less than 7 pounds when he died.
The medical examiner ruled the 4-month-old’s death a homicide and deemed the cause of death failure to provide critical care.
According to the complaint, Zachary originally told deputies that his girlfriend fed Sterling that morning and he was fine. He claimed they had checked on him a couple hours later and found him dead.
“The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life,” the criminal complaint concluded.
Harris and Koehn are being held in the Chickasaw County Jail. Their arraignment is scheduled for November 2.
[Featured Image: Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office]