A four-month-old baby was found dead wearing the same diaper for up to two weeks, causing the baby to suffer from a nasty maggot infestation. According to first responders, the infant, named Sterling Koehn, was left on a baby swing in a hot, stuffy room as his drug-addled parents neglected him for days.
Police arrested the child’s parents, 20-year-old Cheyanne Harris and 28-year-old Zachary Koehn, in Iowa last October. The child’s parents are now facing separate murder trials.
Testifying in front of a jury at Zachary’s trial, first responder Toni Friedrich recalled that gnats flew off young Sterling’s corpse as she moved her blanket and noted that the baby’s “eyes were open, and it was a blank stare.
The nurse who first responded to the 911 call that Zachary made noted that the father showed no emotions as he led her to his child and that it was too late, since the poor baby had passed on. It is estimated that the baby was neglected between 9-14 days.
“He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash,” Assistant Iowa Attorney General Coleman McAllister told the jury as the court heard that Sterling had been wearing the same diaper for up to two weeks. The maggots and bugs that the unchanged diaper attracted broke through the baby’s skin, according to McAllister, who added:
“The feces that sat in that diaper ate through his skin, allowing E. coli bacteria that was in his diaper and in his stool to enter his bloodstream and cause an infection.” McAllister asserted that this infection contributed to the infant’s untimely death.
Zachary’s former friend, Jordan Clark, revealed that both Zachary and Cheyanne were regular crystal meth users who would purchase $20-$40 worth of drugs from him each week.
Revealing that Zachary has another two-year-old daughter who appeared to be well cared-for, Jordan said that he had no idea Zachary and Cheyanne had a baby boy despite numerous visits to their apartment.
Clark was called to the witness stand and testified that Zachary called him on the morning of Sterling’s death, desperate to find a black bag containing meth and a scale.