Prosecutors: Affton toddler died of blunt force trauma; mother charged

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KMOV.com

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 11:19 PM

Missing 1-year-old Boy

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(KMOV) -- Officials announced in a news conference on Wednesday that the mother of a 1-year-old boy found dead in a wooded area in south St. Louis County on Tuesday was charged with second degree murder.

During the news conference, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said that the victim, Tyler Dasher, died of blunt force trauma. When asked if it appeared if the mother and suspect, 20-year-old Shelby Dasher, got angry and lashed out at the child, McCulloch said that did appear to be true.

McCulloch also said that the medical examiner reported that there was no immediate evidence of previous child abuse in this case.

Multiple sources have confirmed to News 4 that Shelby Dasher has confessed to the beating death of her son, Tyler Dasher. She reportedly beat the child because she could not get him to stay quiet in his crib. She then dumped his body and returned home to sleep, waiting several hours later to report him missing.

According to McCulloch, Shelby Dasher was out for some period of time during the night and early morning hours before the baby was killed. During that time the grandmother was still asleep. He said that as far as he knew, Dasher carried her son to the wooded area where he was later found dead. However, he says it is not 100 percent clear if she drove or walked the baby to the dumping site.

McCulloch expressed his disappointment in the mother’s method of handling her frustration with the baby. “There are a myriad of ways to handle a child,” he said. “This isn’t one of them.”

Officials said once the child was reported missing, which was just before noon on Tuesday, one of the first investigators on the scene was someone experienced in child abuse. This person recognized that this case was not just one of a missing person. It was clear that there was more to the story than what had been reported at that time.

During the news conference, McCulloch acknowledged a strongly worded Facebook post that Dasher made prior to the murder saying that she needed to get away from Affton. He said that police do take evidence related to social media seriously, and that her last Facebook post will be taken into consideration as evidence.  

Shelby Dasher is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

Click the video player to watch News 4 coverage of this story.

For information on coping with parental stress, call the Crisis Nursery at 314-768-3201. Or visit them online here.

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