One-year-old girl’s body found in dresser of abandoned home
The mother of an abducted one-year-old girl in Indiana told police that her boyfriend killed the child and hid her body in a dresser in an abandoned home, according to a new report.
Madison Marshall, the child's mother, is facing new felony charges, including two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. That is a Level 1 felony. She has also been charged with a Level 3 felony, neglect resulting in serious injury, according to Fox 59.
Her boyfriend, Roan Waters, is facing a single count of murder along with two counts of neglect leading to death, as well as other charges.
Ryan Mears, the Marion County prosecutor, said the girl, Oaklee Snow, was abused and ultimately murdered by the people who should have loved her the most.
“Her time on this earth was very much defined by adults abusing her and the allegation here is that abuse eventually led to her death,” he said.
Oaklee and her baby brother were abducted from her father's home on 19 January. Ms Marshall and Mr Waters are the alleged abductors.
The baby boy was ultimately recovered after the couple allegedly abandoned him in a drug house in Indianapolis and reported his abandonment to Child Protective Services.
Court documents cite a witness who saw the couple leaving the drug house, saying they saw "what looked like a child wrapped in a blanket." The witness said the child was not moving, talking, or crying when they saw the couple.
Fox 59 obtained recently released charging documents, which say Ms Marshall, "hysterical and sobbing," led police to the abandoned home outside Morgantown, Indiana, where they allegedly hid Oaklee's body.
The Morgan County Coroner is examining the remains, which were severely decomposed when police arrived. A positive match between the remains and Oaklee is pending, and will likely take several weeks.
“This child was the victim of abuse over the course of multiple days,” Mr Mears said. “This was not an isolated incident. The Probable Cause affidavit indicates that there was abuse that took place in Oklahoma, Colorado and Indianapolis. This child suffered for a very significant period of time and on Feb. 9 the culmination of that abuse led to Oaklee tragically losing her life.”
That abuse included instances in which Mr Waters allegedly would "choke her out" and beat her for things like "holding a fork wrong," Ms Marshall reportedly told investigators.
She claimed the abuse was so frequent and brutal that the child would not eat when Mr Waters was present. Ms Marshall said when she tried to intervene Mr Waters would allegedly beat her.
The girl ultimately died less than a month after her disappearance, on 9 February, according to court documents.
Ms Marshall said Mr Waters, who was woken up by the girl's crying because she was hungry, allegedly threw the girl to the ground, causing her head to hit the floor of the drug house where they were staying. Sometime later Ms Marshall found Mr Waters holding the girl, who was struggling to breathe.
She told investigators she attempted to call 911, but that Mr Waters allegedly knocked the phone from her hand. That's when the couple reportedly wrapped Oaklee in a blanket and drove to the abandoned house to hide her body.
Ms Marshall was taken into custody and is being held in the Marion County Jail on a $200,000 bond.
The couple reportedly fled to Colorado after Oaklee's death, according to a witness statement to police. Ms Marshall reportedly returned to Indiana and then continued onward to North Carolina, where she was arrested and returned to Marion County last month.
Mr Waters was arrested on 3 March in Colorado after police were called to a hotel where he was staying and discovered he had outstanding warrants for child abuse, domestic assault, and battery in the presence of a minor in Oklahoma.