Prosecutors say a 4-month-old Iowa baby who was discovered dead last summer, while covered in maggots in a baby swing of his parent’s apartment, “died of diaper rash.”
Cheyanne Harris, 20, and Zachary Koehn, 28, are facing charges including first-degree murder in the death of their infant son, Sterling Daniel Koehn. Authorities said the boy was found in a “diaper that hadn’t been changed in over a week,” WHO-TV reports. The diaper was reportedly soiled with feces, which caused a maggot infestation that in turn led to an E-Coli infection.
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According to a criminal complaint obtained by the station last year, a “study of the maggots growth and development indicated that the child had not had a diaper change, bath, or been removed from the seat in over a week.”
“He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash,” Assistant Attorney General Coleman McAllister said at Koehn’s trial Tuesday, according to the the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
“The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life,” the complaint continued.
Further, officials said measurements taken at Sterling’s autopsy revealed the baby was “well below the 5th percentile in size and weight.”
A former first responder, who was at the scene when the alleged crime occurred, described witnessing deplorable conditions where the infant was found.
“The whole room was hot…and there was a stench of urine in the whole room,” Toni Friedrich said.
The woman also spoke of the state that Sterling was apparently discovered to be in—conditions so horrific that life-saving measures couldn’t be taken.
“His eyes were open, and it was a blank stare,” she said. “This isn’t right. This is not a baby who I can do CPR on.”
Koehn’s trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday. A trial for Harris will be conducted separately.
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for the latest updates.
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[Feature Photo: Zachary Koehn, Sterling Koehn, and Cheyanne Harris/Facebook]