November 16th, 2011
04:33 PM ET

Prosecutor: Mother will be charged in boy's slaying

[Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET] The mother of a 1-year-old boy found dead in Missouri will be charged with killing him, the St. Louis County prosecutor told reporters Wednesday.

The mother, Shelby Dasher, will be charged with second-degree murder, prosecutor Bob McCulloch said.

The accusation comes after the medical examiner ruled that Tyler Daniel Dasher died from multiple blunt force trauma, McCulloch said.

"Ms. Dasher during the interrogation has acknowledged ... she repeatedly struck the baby, primarily because the baby was not cooperating; the baby was crying, the baby was not laying down and wouldn't go back to sleep," he said.

Tyler's body was found in a wooded area about a mile from his home Tuesday. He was reported missing earlier that day.

The mother had told investigators that she last saw the child when she put him to bed Monday night, according to CNN affiliate KSDK.

Authorities did not reveal how they believe the child's body got to the location where it was found.

An experienced police investigator at the scene quickly recognized that child abuse could be involved, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told reporters.

"He recognized rather quickly that this just wasn't a missing person. That there was a lot more to this than just a baby that was discovered missing out of a bed," Fitch said.

Before prosecutors announced their plan to file charges, Shelby Dasher's friends defended her in interviews with KSDK.

"She didn't do it," said friend Emily Rowley. "Until those words come out of her mouth, I have all the faith in her."

Another friend, Holly Barton, told KSDK that she had never seen Dasher act suspiciously with her son.

"Tyler's her life. Any time I've ever seen them together, they both laugh and smile. I know that it's not her. I have all the faith in the world," she said.

Barton said she spoke briefly with Dasher on Tuesday after hearing that Tyler was missing.

"As soon as we hung up, she texted me and said, 'Just please pray,'" Barton told KSDK.

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Filed under: Crime • Missouri
soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. danielle

    I am a 19 year old mother, been married for 15months and have a four month old daughter. She's fed, changed, burped and she's been throwing a fit the past hour and a half. Am I beating her because she won't be quiet NO. If you can't handle your child call someone to watch them or leave them in a room. Killing an innocent child is not acceptable.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • RICH BOY


      November 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Pick her up – there's no reason a 4 month old should cry for 1-1/2 hours!!!!!

      November 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • seattlekate

      Pam, of course you are right, however sometimes babies cannot be consoled. Yes, you carry them, walk back and forth rubbing their back and gently jiggling them and then sometimes you just need to lay them down and let them cry it out. Checking on her frequently, of course...

      By the way, Danielle sounds pretty switched on for such a young woman. You and Rich Boy should lay off and give support, not snidey remarks (RICH BOY).

      November 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Limeygirl

      Danielle, I wish you all the very best. You're right, motherhood can be frustrating (it doesn't get any better as they get older, sometimes) but you seem to have the right approach to keeping yourself & your baby safe. I hope you both have breaks in life and get the things you need.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kuckoo

      Oh, please, no reason a 4 month old should be crying for 1 1/2 hours? maybe not, but that doesn't mean they don't do it. My child cried every night at 1 month old. Every night at the same time this screaming would start. I would hold her and pace walk through the house for sometimes up to 2 hours!!!! I never wanted to use a pacifier, but after a month of it, I gave in. She grew out of it and I took the pacifier away with in a few weeks and she was fine. The do's advice during the screaming? Let her cry it out. Maybe no reason, but it definitely does happen!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Happy

      Danielle, great to see a young girl who is being responsible. Keep up the good work. I just had my first kid at 40. I love him to death, but I know if I had done this 20 years ago, I would not have had the same level of maturity as you.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Mimi

      Danielle, good for you. Such responsibility at such a young age, but it sounds like you are handling it well. My youngest had colic, so he cried for hours no matter what we did. Of course I picked him up, rocked him and walked him, but there were times I was very frustrated and exhausted, even with my husband's help. Sometimes you do have to set them in their crib and take a walk, or have someone take them for a little awhile. But of couse it is never okay to hurt them. The poor liittle babies can't help it. Even if its not colic, at that young age, crying is the only way they can communicate.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Chantel

      Apparently, the first two to respond to your post have never heard of colic which can cause a young infant to cry for hours no matter what you do for them. I had my first child on my 20th birthday, and I have to say, it caused me to grow up quick fast and in a hurry. Granted some stories you read on here are to the contrary, you and I have something in common, we stuck it out and loved our babies no matter how young. I am now 31 with 4 beautiful children and couldn't ask for a better life. These idiots out here killing their kids deserve no less than what they did to their beautiful children that didn't deserve what they had to endure. Keep it up Danielle, and you will do just fine as a mother!!! Don't mind the haters that don't know what comes with babies!!!

      November 27, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      danielle – If you are bottle feeding, consider the possibility that your baby may be lactose intolerant. If you're breast feeding, consider the possibility that you might have a breast infection. That length of crying isn't normal and you should consult your doctor immediately! And, NEVER leave a baby to cry like that – it could be dangerous. At the very least, there is something WRONG – get it checked out!

      December 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kuckoo

      Yes, run and get it checked out so the doc can advise you, like he advised me, to let your lovely baby cry it out. They need it sometimes. You are Mom, you know your child, don't let people send you into hysterics so you are one of those who have your kid pumped with antibiotics that no longer work becasue your child is immune by 4 yrs old. please! You know when your child just needs to cry it out and when there is something wrong. Moms know their children and when it is time to see a doc.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chandra

      Well said Kuckoo! Both of mine had colic. My first had to have soy formula and the second just needed a gentler formula. (I couldn't breastfeed, I tried. So I don't wanna hear about that). Danielle shows a maturity I wish more people expressed. Keep up the good work Mom! 😀

      December 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • deutsche001

      You are a great example and give good advice. Many young mothers do not lose their temper.
      I hope you will always be as strong as you are now.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nonamesleft

    The sad result of extreme stress in the modern world.
    People get pushed over the edge & do things they otherwise wouldn't do.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I absolutely agree.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chantel

      I have more stress than most could deal with in a day, i would still never stoop so low as to hurt my children, that is cowardly and beyond comprehension. You should not be making excuses for these monsters!!!

      November 27, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • mags

      what's so especially stressful about modern life? we aren't fighting bears or crippled with polio anymore. we don't face starvation in this country. the "extreme stress of modern living" is a function of our cultural standards: have more stuff, be hotter, wilder, get more freaking facebook friends. oh, not hot? not rich or interesting? dang, well, maybe taking it out on someone weaker would help. disgusting. it's all an illusion.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kuckoo

      Hmmm, let's give her a life of luxury in the modern world and see how she does with oyur kids. No? There are probably plenty of reasons, but there are no excuses and you do not know what specific reason caused this woman to murder an innocent child. Resentment? Selfishness? Mental illness? Some other deep seeded issue?

      December 7, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. danielle

    Believe me I tried everything even picking her up. She finally stopped around 12:30. I even tried giving her another bottle and she would stop then start again.

    November 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • seattlekate

      Hi Danielle, Welcome to Motherhood! 🙂

      Honestly when I was a young mom my Dr told me that if baby is fed, burped, clean and dry with no diaper pin sticking her (this was back in the day 🙂 and could not be soothed by rocking, etc then I should put her in her crib and let her cry herself to sleep. It was hard for me to do, but it always worked. Sometimes babies get overly tired and cranky too.

      Seriously, but you are so right. Hitting a BABY is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!! She should have called someone (even 911) if she felt that violently frustrated.

      November 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JW

    It's so hard to understand why someone would do this...postpartum depression? Feeling totally overwhelmed and out of control? I have three daughters and we survived their infancies without ever resorting to violence. The teenage years are looming though, so we'll see how that goes! Some people just aren't suited to be parents.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chantel

      I had post partum depression and yet i have never laid a hand on my four beautiful kids. people just like to use excuses when there are none.

      November 27, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. cha cha


    November 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. richard t

    people these days are to busy to take care of their kids. I had 4 befor the age of 22. I worked a full time jon and yes I went to work to get some rest but if I was not at work I took my kids everywhere I went. Go to the store now and you can hear kids crying because they don't get everything they want try to go out to eat and sit close to a child I would just as soon stay at home and order pizza. I TOOK MY KIDS TO EAT AND NEVER WOULD I PUT UP WITH THAT. People are just lazy and their kids are in the way. Maybe if some of them went tho jail for about 40 years the rest of them would rethink the way they raise the children. But the old saying I brought you into this world I can take out and make another one is true.

    November 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi

      Your post is all over the place, has nothing to do with this sad story and really, your rambling is just nonsense.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      The "Old saying" is from a Bill Cosby routine.

      December 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PBGirl

    Regardless of the idiotic comments, bottomline is...Yes babies cry... but knowing right from wrong is the key issue in this matter. Im sure she snapped, lack of sleep, giving all her attention to one being, however you dont BEAT or hit a baby... she is 100% guilty of that, and no jail is going to punish her as much as she already did to herslef.

    November 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. J.A. McCall

    Some times people pick the little ones up by their arms and it can hurt their shoulders. Sometimes they suddenly need more food. They start out drinking 2 ounces a bottle but it isn't long that they need to have 8 oz to be satisfied.

    If that doesn't satisfy them, they may need to be fed baby oatmeal or rice. Something that will stick to their ribs.

    Sometimes babies fight sleep. When my grandson was about a year old I would rock him to sleep, but then he started jerking awake as the brink of sleeping. I finally rocked him until he jerked awake, then I lay him in his crib and left the room.

    Sometimes they can have ear infection and cry with that. Most babies have a fever if they have ear infection.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sarah VanOrd

    My daughter cried every day from the time she was born to she was 14 months. She had one of the worst cases of reflux her doctors had seen, couldn't lie down for an hour after eating, and constantly had an upset stomach. We did everything to console her until we figured out driving her around and then putting her down in her crib was what worked best. Sure, we used a lot of gas money but she slept, our nerves weren't as frazzled, and we managed. I could never imagine a person beating their child to death because they couldn't stop crying. If my 3 year old gets an owie, my heart breaks. When she was a baby, I was so protective because I thought she was constantly in pain with the reflux. (Always vomiting and started on medication at 10 days old after a full body scan.) Even through all of that I never once shook her while she cried or wouldn't listen. She was a BABY and I was a 21 year old mother (married but husband worked 2nd & 3rd shift and slept first.) Some people just aren't meant to have children.. I hope they prosecute this woman to the full extent.

    December 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vivian Sample

      Wow, this brings back memories.Yes driving around the block works wonders!!!!

      December 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nicole

    OK, to all of you who say a baby should not cry for 1 1/2 hours, you clearly have no idea how difficult some babies can be. A close friend of mine had a baby that would cry endlessly unless she was being held by her mother. For the first year of her life, all she did was cry. There wasn't anything wrong with her, she just wanted to be held constantly. But you can't hold a baby every minute of every day. I even babysat for them when she was 4 or 5 months old and she cried for 4 hours straight, I tried everything I could think of to console her, and she would not be consoled. Finally I had to put her in her crib and let her cry herself to sleep. She's now 7 years old and completely fine.

    December 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. people are evil

    I wouldn't go back to sleep either if my mommy kept pummeling me. No wander the poor baby kept crying..his momy hit him over and over again instead of picking him up and comforting him. You are not spoiling your child if you pick them up and hold them.

    December 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Playjojo

    It always amuses me when people "Know for sure" that the person didn't do it. You don't know your own family member. You can't possibly know what goes on in someones mind, and to presume to is absurd.

    December 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
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