Sheridan woman accused of murdering baby

Date: 2007-12-14

Sheridan woman accused of murdering baby

Written by Rebecca L. Sandlin, on 12-14-2007 07:48

Details in court documents paint a grisly picture of how little Chaeli Kyrie died.

Police say the 13-month-old’s death Sept. 4 is consistent with what is commonly called “shaken baby” syndrome.
Kyrie Rebecca Kyrie, 28, of Sheridan was arrested Thursday in connection with Chaeli’s death after an autopsy report that came back Monday showed the cause was homicide.

Kyrie is accused of murder, battery resulting in death, a Class A felony, neglect of a dependant resulting in death, a Class A felony and aggravated battery, a Class B felony. She could face as much as 65 years in prison for the murder charge and 50 years for each of the Class A counts.

A probable cause affidavit states Rebecca Kyrie was home alone Sept. 3 with Chaeli, a Korean-born girl also known as Hei Min Chung, as well as her two sons. Kyrie’s husband, David, was away at work at the time he got a call from a chaplain at St. Vincent’s Children’s Hospital telling him that Chaeli was not doing well.

The affidavit states David Kyrie talked with his wife earlier that day and she told him the girl was fussy and hadn’t had much of her bottle. When he arrived at the hospital, Rebecca told him she found Chaeli “frothing at the mouth and not breathing right.” Kyrie said his wife told him she patted the girl on the back and something came out of her mouth. Her breathing was still shallow, so she called 911.

Chaeli had been undergoing treatment for nodular gastritis and was due to have an MRI on Sept. 7 for a seizure she had July 4.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mark Bowen said the baby’s head and eye injuries appeared to look like blunt-force trauma and there was a subdural hematoma.

“We don’t believe she was actually struck with an instrument,” Bowen said. “The technical name for what they call the injury is ‘non-accidental abusive head trauma,’ which is a glorified way of saying ‘shaken baby syndrome.’”

An ophthalmologist who examined the girl said the severity of the injuries was such that the force could be equated to the force associated with a severe car crash.

The Kyries had only had the girl for four months, while they worked with FCA and Bethany Christian Services to adopt her.

“It’s heart-wrenching to think of the young child not able to defend itself, when it’s in the care of somebody that is supposed to be taking care of it and loving it,” Bowen said.

Court records show Rebecca Kyrie was under a doctor’s care for depression and had been prescribed Xanax and Lexipro.

She is held at the Hamilton County Jail without bond.


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