Alarming New Details About The Parents Charged With Murder Of 4-Month-Old Found Decomposing And Covered With Maggots In A Baby Swing

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Cheyanne Harris and Zachary Koehn were charged with first-degree murder.

On Aug. 30, Zachary Koehn called the police and said that he found his 4-month-old son Sterling Koehn dead. He said he fed the baby around 9 a.m., and when he went to check on him two hours later, he wasn't breathing. 

But when officers arrived at their home in Alta Vista, Iowa, they quickly realized that was not the case. 

According to the Kansas City Star, they found Sterling dead in his swing, and his little body was covered in maggots. They quickly arrested Zachary Koehn and the boy's mother, Cheyanne Harris. 

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"The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life,” a Chickasaw County sheriff’s deputy wrote in court records. 

Kansas City Star

The Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office ruled Sterling's death a homicide and named "failure to provide critical care" as his cause of death. 

A medical examiner reportedly found maggots on the 4-month-old's clothing and skin that suggested he hadn't had his diaper changed, been bathed or been moved from his powered swing for more than a week. He also weighed less than 7 pounds. 

Authorities said Sterling's body was located in the bedroom away from where his parents and an older sibling slept. That child is safe, but no further information was provided. 

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Neither of the parents has had any previous convictions in Iowa, but they both do have a reported "history of substance abuse; specifically with methamphetamine. 

Koehn admitted he used meth two months ago, and Harris said she used it two weeks ago. She's also being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Des Moines Register 

Koehn has another child who is in his parent's custody. 

Both Koehn and Harris were recently charged with first-degree murder and felony child endangerment and are being held in the Chickasaw County Jail. 

Their arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 2. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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