US Woman Arrested for Killing Infant

Date: 2007-12-11
Source: Korea Times

By Park Si-soo
Staff Reporter

An American woman has been arrested in the United States on charges of killing a baby she adopted.

Rebecca Kyrie, 28, was indicted with physical detention on Friday for murdering Chung Hei-min, a 13-month-old girl adopted from Korea about six months ago by the accused and her spouse David, according to The Indianapolis Star, a local daily published in Indianapolis in the U.S. on Sunday.

The arrest came after a three-month-long investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff Department.

Chung was adopted by the Kyries in June through Bethany Christian Services and was called Chaeli by her adoptive parents.

Bethany Christian Services is a not-for-profit adoption service provider with offices in 30 states in the U.S.

Police said that Kyrie shook the baby girl so violently on Sept. 3 that it resulted in head trauma, resulting in her death the next day. Her husband, David, was at work at the time, and her two biological sons were with her.

Kyrie still denies the charges. Reportedly, however, her six-year-old son has told an investigator that his mother told him not to say what happened to the girl.

Kyrie was known among her neighbors for being a regular churchgoer who even performed dance interpretations of Bible stories at the church.

``Kyrie offered no explanation for her baby condition when she called 911 on Sept. 3 and reported the child was frothing at the mouth,'' the daily quoted Maj. Mark Bowen, spokesman for the Sheriff Department as saying. Later, however, she referred to personal problems, according to evidence filed in court.

After the baby was taken to a hospital in Indianapolis, she was diagnosed with a severe brain injury and placed on life support. But Chung died after she was removed from life support equipment the next day. The recently obtained results of an autopsy show that she died from the so-called ``shaken baby syndrome.''

The daily reported that she had not admitted to shaking the baby, and her husband also claimed no knowledge of any prior abuse.

In an interview with Indianapolis-based TV news, 6News, her brother, George Cooper said Kyrie, an extremely loving and caring mother, would not have abused the child.
``There's every possibility in my mind that this was a pre-existing condition and that just took time to bear itself out,'' he said.

pss@koreatimes.co.kr

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