Both parents face charges of first-degree murder for the neglect and death of their 4-month-old baby after shocking facts surrounding the baby's death come to light.
On August 30, 2017, Zachary Koehn phoned 911 to report his 4-month-old baby named Sterling had died. An ambulance got dispatched to Zachary Koehn and mother Cheyanne Harris’s Alta Vista apartment.
County rescue squad EMT and nurse, Toni Friedrich was the first to arrive at the apartment. She found the baby in a room that was hot and smelled of urine, in a powered swing seat with open, blank eyes.
A deputy with the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office, Reed Palo, attended Sterling’s autopsy. As the medical examiner removed layers of soiled blankets and clothing from the baby maggots and larva of different colors were discovered.
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Investigators discovered that Sterling had been left in the same diaper for 9-14 days, and the baby was ruled to have died of an infection caused by the deadly e. Coli bacteria which stemmed from the diaper rash, as well as dehydration and malnutrition. Sterling also weighed less than five pounds and it’s believed she got left in the swing for more than a week.
Both Zachary Koehn and Cheyanne Harris pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges and will be tried separately. 29-year-old Zachary Koehn is currently on trial. During opening statements on Tuesday Koehn’s attorney said that baby Sterling’s death was a tragedy, not a crime.
However, Prosecutor Coleman McAllister, an assistant Iowa attorney general denied the claims stating that Zachary was an experienced parent, noting that the accused has a 2-year-old daughter in good health, who was also living in the same apartment.
McAllister also pointed out that Zachary had money to buy food and baby supplies and went on to state that he was also a drug user. Various testimonies got heard and medical reports were admitted as evidence. The rest of the trial got moved from Chickasaw County to Henry County to counter pretrial publicity.
In June 2018, Nicole Engler from Roseburg, Oregon forgot to drop her 21-month-old daughter off at the nursery, husband Peter normally took their daughter to school but he had just finished a night shift and was fast asleep.
Nicole worked at a family medical center as a nurse and only discovered the lifeless body of little Remington after her shift. Attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful. 38-year-old Nicole faces manslaughter charges and while in jail ‘begged to be allowed to take her own life.’
Nicole has been released on bail and is at home with her husband and family. Her lawyer David Terry is attempting to get charges against Nicole dropped.
Similarly, a seven-month-old baby boy got left in a car on the afternoon of June 9, 2018. The police got called to the Quality Inn in Kingsland, Camden County after receiving a report that an infant was not breathing after being taken out of a hot car.
Source: Douglas County Jail
It was said that the baby was very hot to touch and was bleeding from the nose when he was taken out of the car. Resuscitation of the baby was attempted by a neighbor, but it was too late.
The police assured in a statement that their investigators were seriously looking into the incident and will release information after they have gathered all the facts.
Incidents like these serve as a reminder to be mindful as one lapse in judgment or memory can have dire consequences to those involved.
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