'Indifference to Human Life': Iowa Parents Charged in Death of Baby Allegedly Left in Swing for Days
Sterling Koehn was found decomposing in his swing, say police
The parents of a 4-month-old Iowa boy who was found dead in a motorized swing in late August in a state of decomposition have been charged with murder, PEOPLE confirms.
Cheyanne Harris, 21, and Zachary Koehn, 28, were taken into custody on Wednesday.
Both are charged with child endangerment and first-degree murder in the death of their son, Sterling Koehn, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Neither has entered a plea to the charges, and efforts to reach their attorneys for comment were unsuccessful Thursday. They are being held without bail.
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Both are due back in court on Nov. 2.
Court records allege police and medical personnel were summoned to the couple’s apartment in Alta Vista on August 30. Koehn had called 911 that day, requesting an ambulance for his unresponsive son.
Authorities arrived to find the lifeless boy in the swing, the complaint states.
According to autopsy results, medical examiners found “maggots in various stages of development” in Sterling’s “clothing and on his skin.”
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Authorities believe Sterling, who weighed less than five pounds at death, was left in the baby swing for over a week, and that he was not bathed or changed that entire time.
The cause of death has been ruled a homicide, and the manner of death was failure to provide critical care, according to court papers.
“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 criminal complaints.