Mother charged with neglect of dependent resulting in death

Sarah Styhl. (Photo provided by Delaware County Jail)
Muncie mom arrested for baby's death
Mom arrested for baby's death

MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) - The Delaware County Prosector filed two counts of neglect of dependent result in death against Sarah Styhl Thursday.

Styhl is scheduled for an initial hearing on Monday, June 17.

Bail was originally set at $50,000.

On June 12, 2019 bail was increased to $100,000.

The abuse Styhl is accused of inflicting on her baby disturbs even experienced detectives.

"It is absolutely horrifying this would happen to an infant that is dependent on care and somebody was not providing it," said Muncie Police Captain Joseph Todd.

Styhl and 3-month-old Shae Anna Marie moved into Muncie's YWCA on Tuesday.

Saturday morning, according to police, Styhl was at the shelter's front desk, asking workers to call 911. The baby was unresponsive.

Shae was pronounced dead at the hospital. According to court records, the baby appeared malnourished and suffered other injuries.

"There were sores," Todd said. "Blisters, what appeared to be burns in our minds, on a large portion of the body," Todd added.

Additional examinations revealed what the probable cause affidavit calls extensive skeletal trauma, the bones in both the child's legs and both her arms were fractured.

Inside their room at the YWCA, police found bottles of burn spray, diaper rash ointments, Icy Hot patches and apparent blood stained bed clothes.

No one at the YWCA suspected anything was wrong.

"The Y staff had only really seen the baby when it was wrapped or being transported in a stroller," Todd said.

Court records reveal Styhl has two previous convictions for battery. One offense was committed in the presence of a minor. She competed probation in January.

According to police, the 32-year-old said she believe her baby was having an allergic reaction.

When pressed, Styhl asked for an attorney.

The YWCA issued a statement saying:

"The YWCA of Central Indiana Board and Staff have fully cooperated with the investigation and we will continue to provide quality care and services to all women and children who enter our program."

Police say the investigation is ongoing. "We are not looking for anyone else," Todd explained.

"The question is how long has this been going on and did somebody see something and not take action," Todd added.