Affton mother charged with second degree murder of 13-month-old son | St. Louis Public Radio

Affton mother charged with second degree murder of 13-month-old son

Nov 16, 2011

Update 5:26 p.m. (adds more information, replaces 3:27 p.m. update):

Just a little over 24 hours after reporting her son missing an Affton woman has been charged in the child’s death.

Twenty-year-old Shelby Dasher faces a second-degree murder charge.

She’s accused of killing her 13-month-old son Tyler Dasher, then disposing of his body near a cemetery.

St. Louis County Police chief Tim Fitch says skilled investigators and interviewers helped bring the case to a head quickly.

“One of our first supervisors on the scene yesterday was a very experienced lieutenant who used to for most of his career handle child abuse cases,” Fitch said. “So he recognized rather quickly that this wasn’t just a missing person. That there was a lot more to this than just a baby missing out of his bed.”

County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch says Tyler died from multiple blunt force trauma to the head.

“Miss Dasher during the interrogation has acknowledged that early yesterday morning before disposing of the body she had repeatedly struck the baby, primarily because the baby was not cooperating; the baby was crying; the baby wouldn’t lay back down and go to sleep,” McCulloch said.

The prosecutor says the second-degree murder charge was filed because it does not appear Dasher planned to kill the child.

McCulloch says at this point no one else is suspected of being involved.

Dasher is being held on $500,000 bond.

Update 10:05 a.m. via the Associated Press:

Police investigating the death of a 13-month-old boy have taken the baby's mother into custody a day after his body was discovered near a suburban St. Louis cemetery.

Antoinette King, booking clerk for the St. Louis County jail, says no charges have been filed against 20-year-old Shelby Dasher of Affton, Mo., who was taken into custody early Wednesday. The body of her son, Tyler Dasher, was discovered Tuesday afternoon.

King says Dasher is on a 24-hour hold. The hold is designed to give the police a day to build a case. If no charges are brought in that time, Dasher must be released.

Police say no further information will be released until the prosecutor has reviewed the investigation. The prosecutor didn't return calls seeking comment.

Update 6:05 a.m. Nov. 16: St. Louis County police detectives have taken one person into custody early Wednesday morning for the murder of 1-year-old Tyler Dasher. Police spokesman Rick Eckhard says the individual has not yet been formally booked or processed. No information on the case will be released until after the prosecuting attorney's office reviews the investigation. At that time, if warrants are issued, either the prosecutor's office or St. Louis County police will release additional information.

Update 9:45 p.m.: The St. Louis County medical examiner's office has confirmed that the body found in a wooded area near River Des Peres Rd. and Gravois near the city-county line is that of 1-year-old Tyler Dasher, whose mother reported him missing at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. A cause of death has not been determined, and county police do not have any motive for his abduction and homicide.

Update 4:26 p.m.: St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch said during a press conference that there are no particular suspects and that there has been no positive identification of the body of the child yet. The medical examiner has been called to the scene for further investigation.

Police say that they have no reason to believe that the missing 1-year-old Tyler Dasher would have left his home on his own.

Update 4:07 p.m.: Several media outlets are now reporting that a body of a dead child has been found near the home of Tyler Dasher, the missing boy from Affton. It is still unclear whether the child found is Dasher.  St. Louis County officials will hold a 4:30 p.m. press conference with more information.

Original Story:

Authorities are searching the Affton area in St. Louis County after a woman reported her toddler son missing.

The child is Tyler Dasher, a 1-year-old who weighs 20 pounds and is 2 feet tall. Authorities say he can stand but not walk on his own.

A witness told police a man was seen walking along a nearby street with a child wrapped in a blue blanket. Police have not identified any suspects.

Tyler's mother, 20-year-old Shelby Dasher, told authorities she put him to bed about 10:30 p.m. Monday. She overslept and reported him missing after she awoke about 11 a.m.

St. Louis County officer Rick Eckhard says there is no way to explain how the boy got out of his crib, out of his room or out of his house.