4-Month-Old Baby Died of 'Diaper Rash': Prosecutor

Iowa Attorney General's Office
Iowa Attorney General's Office

A 4-month-old old baby who was found dead in a motorized swing last year died from diaper rash, according to prosecutors. 

The infant’s parents, Cheyanne Harris, 21, and Zachary Koehn, 28, have both pleaded not guilty to their charges of first-degree murder. 

Sterling Koehn was found lifeless sitting inside of a swing in his Iowa home on Aug. 30, 2017. His father had called 911. 

An autopsy later revealed "maggots in various stages of development” in his clothing and on his skin. 

Prosecutors said Sterling wore the same diaper for nine to 14 days before medics were called to the family’s Alta Vista home, according to multiple reports .

They also believe the baby, who weighed less than 5 pounds at the time of his death, sat in the swing for over a week without a bath. 

The child’s dirty diaper irritated the baby’s skin and caused it to rupture and then E coli bacteria set in, prosecutors also alleged. 

A medical examiner said Sterling died of malnutrition, dehydration and infection from unchecked diaper rash.

“He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash,” Prosecutor Coleman McAllister said during opening statements, the Associated Press reported. 

Authorities called it a case that went “beyond neglect” and showed an “extreme indifference to human life.”

Koehn said in court that he had entrusted his son’s care to his mother.

Koehn is being tried separately from Harris and his lawyer, Les Blair,  claims Sterling “was not the victim of a crime but a tragedy,” according to reports. 

The trial will continue throughout next week. 

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