Mother and fiance arrested in death of 4-year-old Waterloo girl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

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Mother and fiance arrested in death of 4-year-old Waterloo girl

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UPDATE: 32-year-old Chad Little is now charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment in the death of four-year-old Gracie Buss.

His fiance, 31-year-old Kristi Buss is also charged with Child Endangerment resulting in death.


A mom is arrested in the death of her four-year-old daughter. After 18 months of searching for answers, a step closer in justice for Gracie. 31-year-old Kristi Buss faces charges of Child Endangerment Resulting in Death.

Her daughter, Gracie, was found unresponsive at her Waterloo home in May of 2015.  Autopsy results show she died of severe trauma to her head.

The criminal complaint shows the mothers fiance Chad Little had been living with Kristi and her two children. 

Gracie's brother told police "Little would physically beat" Gracie "a lot."

Another witness had told police Little got in argument with Kristi and threw something at her, but Gracie got in the way. 

Kristi, who was interviewed by officers initially told police "Gracie had fallen down the stairs the night before."

Later, she changed her story and told police Gracie, "fell down the stairs just hours before, not the night before."

In a third interview, Kristi completely changed her story and said Gracie, "never did fall down the stairs."

Multiple witnesses also say they saw visible injuries to Kristi while they were dating. 

Little had not been charged in connection with the case. He is currently serving time in jail for theft and burglary, and is being held in Fort Dodge. 

Kristi Buss is in the Black Hawk County jail on a $75,000 bond for allegedly failing to stop the abuse her fiance inflicted on Gracie. 


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