A 4-month-old baby found dead and covered with maggots “died of diaper rash,” Assistant Attorney General Coleman McAllister told an Iowa jury, as indicated by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
The parents have been charged with homicide after their 4-month-old child, Sterling Daniel Koehn, was found dead last Summer, weighing under 7 pounds and in a diaper that hadn’t been changed in over seven days.
Cheyanne Harris, 20, and Zachary Koehn, 28, face indictments of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death, as per WHO-TV.
“He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash,” McAllister said during his statement in Koehn’s trial Tuesday. Harris will be tried separately.
An ambulance was called to the couple’s Alta Vista apartment on Aug. 30 after Koehn called to report that his child had passed away, only a couple of hours after Harris claimed he fed Sterling.
The infant was found in a power swing in another room separate from where the parents and the other child sleeps.
The criminal complaint says an autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s Office discovered the newborn child was well under the fifth percentile in size and weight for the his age. Maggots were likewise found in different phases of development on the baby’s skin and clothes. A measurable entomologist could decide the tyke “had not had a diaper change, shower, or been expelled from the seat in over seven days.”
McAllister says the waste Sterling’s diaper attracted the maggots, and the baby’s irritated skin ultimately ruptured, causing an E. coli infection to develop.
An EMT who was at the couple’s Hilltop Avenue apartment affirmed that the whole room was hot and smelled of urine.
“His eyes were open, and it was a blank stare,” Toni Friedrch said. She remembered thinking, “This isn’t right, this is not a baby who I can do CPR on.”
Friedrich said when she moved the kid’s blanket, gnats flew out.
The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday in Henry County, where it was moved from Chickasaw because of the high level of publicity.