NewsLocal NewsCrime


Muncie infant had burns covering her body and broken bones when she died, mother arrested

Posted at 3:48 PM, Jun 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 15:21:25-04

UPDATE: The Delaware County Prosecutor's Office on Thursday announced that Sara Styhl has formally been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

MUNCIE — A mother has been arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death in connection with the death of her infant daughter.

According to the Delaware County Coroner, 3-month-old Shae Anna Marie Styhl died Saturday. Her cause of death is still pending investigation.

Muncie Police Department officers were called to the YWCA around 10:45 a.m. Saturday for a report of an unresponsive infant. Police say Sarah Ann Styhl, 32, and her baby had been staying at the shelter for the past four days.

Investigators say the infant had "what appeared to be burns covering most parts of her body," according to the police report. And the baby was rushed to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Upon further visual inspection of the child, there were different degrees of skin peeling usually associated with burn injuries," the report stated. The infant also had a large injury to her genitals that appeared to be a burn or blood blister and she appeared malnourished.

According to the police report, the doctors found multiple bone fractures in various stages of healing and numerous burns on the infant's body. An examination found "extensive skeletal trauma" and "bone fractures" and other injuries to all four of the baby's extremities.

During an interview with investigators, Styhl said she had used several different "ointments and lotions" to try to treat what she thought was irritated skin around her daughter's mouth and face.

Styhl also told investigators that her daughter had fallen out of her stroller "a few weeks prior" and that she had put an Icy Hot pad on the baby's arm and wrapped it with a bandage for treatment.

When asked about the more serious injuries to her daughter's body, Styhl became argumentative and asked for an attorney, according to the report.

Detectives searched Styhl's room and found bottles of "burn spray," diaper rash ointments and Icy Hot patches. They also found stains that appeared to be blood on the bed sheets, several pieces of the infant's clothing, burp rags and other items.

Styhl's bond was originally set at $50,000, however, it was raised to $100,000 on Wednesday, according to the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office.

The incident remains under investigation by the Muncie Police Department and the Delaware County Coroner.