Mum ‘strangled daughter, 5, to death and then said she hanged herself’

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A mum allegedly confessed to strangling her young daughter to death having previously told police the five-year-old “hung herself while making a swing in her closet.”

On Tuesday, the prosecution and defence both rested their case in a retrial of Kelsie Thomas, of Iowa, US.

Kelsie Thomas is accused of using a pair of pyjama pants to strangle her five-year-old daughter, Cloe Chandler, in July 2018.

According to court documents, police responded to a 911 call at a home off of North James Street in Ottumwa at around 3.22pm and found Cloe unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital where she subsequently passed away.

Thomas reportedly claimed that she woke up from a nap and found Cloe hanging.

Investigators said that Thomas’ story began to change once they started questioning her and that she ultimately confessed to strangling her daughter after hours of interrogation. The defence argued that Thomas was lured into a false confession.

Phone records from jail, however, reportedly captured Thomas telling her husband, Aaron Thomas, that she murdered Cloe.

Medium reports Thomas allegedly confessed on numerous occasions that she hated her daughter because she reminded her of her ex, Steven Chandler, who allegedly abused her.

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Family members said that when Thomas remarried and had a new baby, she began to ignore the five-year-old.

“Ms Thomas, through this walk-through, it did strike me as off that there really wasn’t any emotion involved in this, at this point, we were less than 24 hours from the death of her daughter,” officer Michael Sieren told KTVO.

“And there really wasn’t any emotion involved with this, essentially walking officers and investigators through how she found her daughter dead.”

In March, a jury acquitted Thomas of child endangerment but couldn’t make a unanimous decision the on first-degree murder charge against her, KYOU News reports.

The case will not be settled by a jury, but by a judge in the bench trail requested by the suspect.

Both sides have until Nov. 3 to submit written closing arguments before the judge renders a verdict.

Thomas, who has pleaded not guilty, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

  • Crime
  • Family
  • Courts

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