• Santiago “Chago” Ortiz

Iowa Parents of 4-month-old that left him to ‘rot’ still in trial


Last year, when police arrived at the house of Zachary Harris and Cheyanne Harris in Alta Vista, Iowa, called in by Koehn himself, they found their 4-month-old, baby, Sterling, dead in a powered swing.

According to a forensic entomologist, the baby had been left on the swing, wearing the same diaper with no change or bath for more than a week, enough for maggots larvae, as well as other deadly bacteria for form and kill the baby.

A prosecutor said during their trial “He [Koehn] let Sterling rot in that room. He left him there to die.” Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Reed Paola wrote: “The Facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.”

Though both parents pleaded “not guilty,” they are being charged with first degree murder and child endangerment causing death. If convicted, the state of Iowa carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole.


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