Alta Vista, Iowa — Parents in northern Iowa have been charged with murder after their 4-month-old son was found dead in a baby swing.
Cheyanne Harris, 20, and Zachary Koehn, 28, face charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death, according to WHO in Iowa.
Koehn called an ambulance Aug. 30 and said his son Sterling died a few hours after Harris fed him, the station said. Medics found the child in a powered swing.
Investigators later determined his statements weren’t consistent with other evidence or autopsy findings, according to The Des Moines Register in Iowa.
The boy measured well below the 5th percentile in size and weight and maggots were found in various stages of development on his skin and clothing. Investigators determined the child had not had a diaper change, bath or been removed from the swing in over a week, WHO said.
The parents were arrested Wednesday.
The medical examiner said the boy’s cause of death was failure to provide critical care, according to the Register. Harris and Koehn were jailed and are due in court Nov. 2.
“The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life,” Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Reed Palo wrote in the case’s criminal complaint, according to the Register.
The child weighed less than 7 pounds when he died, according to The Courier newspaper in Waterloo, Iowa. Iowa’s penalty for a first-degree murder conviction is mandatory life in prison, the paper said.