'It makes me sick to my stomach': Former babysitter reacts to mu - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'It makes me sick to my stomach': Former babysitter reacts to murder charges against parents

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Alta Vista (KWWL) -

Two parents are charged in the death of their nearly four-month-old boy.  Zachary Koehn and Cheyanne Harris are charged with first degree murder and child endangerment causing death.

Neighbors in the area were shocked to hear about the charges, including the child's former babysitter Jennifer Schriever.

"It makes me sick to my stomach," said Schriever.  "I can't believe that-that much neglect was happening right in front of my face, and I didn't see it. It didn't add up. It doesn't add up now, but I would have never guessed this in a million years."

Schriever says she babysat 4-month-old Sterling and his sister twice.

"They brought the kids over-they were always very clean," said Schriever. "Mom seemed together, had a little notebook of details about the kids of any meds, given. You know, they both seemed very together parents."

Schriever says the first time she babysat, they left their children with her for more than sixteen hours.

"It just seemed strange that they'd leave them that long, said Schriever. "With someone who just lives across the way and offered up babysitting services to them."
Emergency responders found their baby's body in a powered infant swing/seat at their Alta Vista home on August 30. According to the criminal complaint, the four-month-old was also found to have maggots on him.

The complaint says Koehn called 911 asking for an ambulance because he had found their baby dead. Koehn told dispatchers that his girlfriend, Cheyanne Harris, fed their baby at 9:00 and when they checked on him at 11:00, he was dead. 

According to the criminal complaint, baby Sterling was found dead in his swing. From what Schriever saw, she says the baby didn't even have a crib. Schriever felt uneasy the second time she was babysat the kids. 

"She came over, handed me the baby- I took him and kind of did the arm gesture, he seemed kind of light," said Schriever. "And she noticed that I did that, and she came and said 'we've been having problems with formula and gaining weight, but we think we got it under control.' And I never questioned it, but that baby seemed tiny to me."

The complaint goes on to say the body was taken to the State Medical Examiner's office. That's where they determined the baby was under seven pounds and 14 inches long, below the 5th percentile in weight and height. A forensic entomologist also studied the maggots. That's where they determined the boy had not been bathed, had a diaper change, or removed from the seat for more than a week. 

"God be with you," said Schriever. "No matter what-when you become a parent, that life is not your life anymore. Your life is them kids."

Koehn and Harris have one other child together. They were arrested on Wednesday and are being held on $100,000 cash-only bonds. Their preliminary hearing is set for November 2nd. 

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