Ossian tot’s death results in murder charge
Nothing in a court affidavit reveals how long Brent Scheiber had been in little Kamryn Price’s life, but one thing was certain.
She didn’t like him.
Scheiber, 26, was charged Wednesday with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and aggravated battery and arrested without incident, the Wells County prosecutor’s office said.
Kamryn died Saturday after doctors at Lutheran Hospital declared her brain dead. The 11/2-year-old was found unresponsive and not breathing properly around 8 a.m. Jan. 7 at her mother’s home at 513 Greenwood Trail in Ossian.
Her death was ruled a homicide. Dr. Scott Wagner performed an autopsy Tuesday and said in court records bruising and swelling on the girl’s head due to blunt force injury was the cause of her death.
When officers questioned Scheiber on Jan. 7, he said he had left Kamryn in her crib while he got ready to take her to her baby sitter. Kamryn awakened crying at 7 a.m. so he changed her diaper and then fed her breakfast in her highchair, a breakfast of a strawberry cereal bar, strawberry applesauce and a drink in a pink sippy cup, court documents said.
He left her in her highchair and showered and then took her to her crib while he finished getting dressed.
He was gone only for 10 to 15 seconds, he said, when he heard a noise or a thump from her room and found her lying face down on the floor and trying to get up.
When he picked her up, she was whining and grunting, he said. Then her body went completely limp and her eyes began to roll back in her head. He placed her back on the floor and saw that her body was stiffening up, he told police.
He tried to call Kamryn’s mother, Megan Milholland, who had left at 2:15 a.m. to go to work at a hospital, court documents said. When he couldn’t reach her, he called 911 and told first responders that the little girl was throwing up and seizing.
Police and doctors didn’t accept his story. No one interviewed, including grandmothers, the mother, the girl’s father and the baby sitter, said Kamryn ever tried to climb out of her crib.
But right away, doctors noticed she had some bruising to the forehead and that her pupils were fixed and dilated, court records said.
A CT scan of Kamryn’s head showed a large subdural hematoma, a blood clot between a layer covering the brain and the brain, and torn tissue inside her upper lip.
An ophthalmologist dilated Kamryn’s retinas and saw “multiple retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and throughout the posterior retina of both eyes,” court documents said.
Retinal hemorrhaging is consistent with violent shaking and was extremely unlikely to occur with a single fall, the doctor said in court documents.
Dr. Jeffrey Kachmann, a neurosurgeon, performed an emergency craniotomy in an attempt to save Kamryn’s life. He noted a skull fracture that would have occurred with blunt force trauma based on its shape rather than from a simple fall onto a carpeted floor from a crib and that the injury had occurred within hours before she was taken to the hospital.
Kachmann described the injury as circular and the size of a fist, court documents said.
On Jan. 9, doctors performed a “bone flap procedure,” in an effort to relieve continued brain swelling.
During questioning, Scheiber described the toddler as able to walk, run, and “kind of clumsy.” He said she was “a climber who can be fussy and that she doesn’t really like him.”
Milholland said she had put Kamryn to sleep around 6:30 the night before and hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, nor any injuries, court documents said.
Court records did not describe Milholland’s relationship with Scheiber.
Grandmothers Donna Price and Jenni Milholland told police their granddaughter had never tried to climb out of her Pack N Play when she stayed with them.
Barbara Werling, the toddler’s baby sitter, had more.
“She hates Brent,” Werling told investigators. She said the little girl told her “I don’t like Brent.”
A court hearing has not been scheduled for Scheiber, according to court documents.