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. Katzeye

    I simply can not understand how someone could hurt a child, I don't care how uncooperative (her words not mine) this little guy was, he was just a baby. I am a single mum and my darling little girl was incredibly difficult as a child and a toddler (her pediatrician and I call her Grizley Adams). I remember one night walking the floor with her ALL night. I couldn't stop or she would scream, I couldn't sit, lean against anything. All night I paced the floor with her. And that is just one example. I KNOW how hard it can be when you are sleep deprived, alone, and sooo frustrated that I thought I was going mad. But not once, not a single second did I ever think, want or try to hurt her. It sure put me off having another one for awhile, but my daughter is 6 now and is the most amazing, loving sweet little girl. I just don't get it.

    November 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChristineLA

      Thank you, as another single mom, I completely agree with you. It can be frustrating, and if at any time the thought of harming your child comes into your mind, put them in the crib and walk out of the room. A screaming child will survive, as this woman shows, a beaten one likely won't. I just ache for him, and I don't get it either.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      i was a colicky baby and that was my poor mom for the first three months of my life every single night. and she worked! so kudos to you and my mom.

      but i am not going to judge this woman. from the accounts of her friends, she seems to have been a good mother up until this point. i have two of my own and sometimes a baby can get you so tired and and exhausted and a person can snap if something else in her life is troubling her. i feel very sad for her and the baby and i wish she had had the resources to share the burden of raising a child.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      "She didn't do it," said friend Emily Rowley. "Until those words come out of her mouth, I have all the faith in her." I always find it mind boggling that someone could release a heartless statement like that to the media about a cold-hearted baby murder. Whatta cruel person to say something about a poor little innocent angel, she can join her friend into the depths of hell when they both die

      November 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lamarr Bennett

    please donot make tbis a high profile case becausd it always end up not guilty veedict. Also this will always happen to children that is born not loved or want and to prevent this womens should have the right to free choice abortions.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChristineLA

      What are you talking about? Of course she had the right to have an abortion, Roe v. Wade was decades ago.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tricia

      Name other cases where they were found "not guilty" moron.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kr

      It is pricisely the legalization of abortion that instilled in the minds of many parents that a child's life is dispensable, and then we are suprised when a mom kills her child. Their logic is if I can kill a fetus why not a baby? We are living in a culture of death.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Logic

      @ Lamarr Bennett, you are truly one ignorant and stupid person, so you think that killing the child prior to being Born is O.K. because I guess you see the child as not human since it has yet to be born? You are TRULY Stupid and much more, I just can't write them here because the post will get deleted but you are one Ignorant piece of ..............!

      November 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nana Brown

      Abortions is killing ....how is it free choice?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • person

      @tricia Casey Anthony

      November 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brenda

    Lots of stupid women are having children because they can, not because they want them! If you dont want children! DONT GET PREGNANT! Many people that cant have children but want one are available to care for those children not wanted but are inocent in the stupid decisions of bad parents! Children are precious miracles and should be treated as such! This woman doesnt deserve to be called MOM, no matter how much she cries!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat Smith

      I agree. Well spoken.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lindalou

    Anyone on the verge of hurting your child...DON'T DO IT!!! Go into another room, step outside your door, put headphones on..anything. Crying does not hurt them..punches, slaps, shaking, none of it good. Its a small part of their life to be like that. Walk away, it will get better. Each time the crying jags will get shorter. Reach out, people will understand and help.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      Agree. Put them in their crib and leave the room. Call a friend or neighbor if you can and at worst if you must drop them off at a hospital or police station.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Megan

    I have a 14 month old daughter and am pregnant with twins, I cried while reading this, that poor baby, Everyone loses their temper, but hitting him in the head, my God, I get aggravated and yell at my daughter more than I would like to admit, but I cannot imagine striking a baby in the head.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ashley

    I personally think she needs the death sentence, since this is what she did to her one year old son....she dont deserve to live!!!!! Rest in peace baby boy

    November 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    I agree. As a single dad of two young ones, with a full time job and all the care (and the frustrations of the low esteem fathers hold in society, with no slack at all for single fathers), I still could never do more than raise my voice once in a while. It is in some of us, and not others.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    I don't mean I agree with the death sentence in this case. I agree that some of us just could not hit a child.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kr

    It is precisely the legalization of abortion that instilled in the minds of many parents that a child's life is dispensable, and then we are surprised when a mom kills her child. Their logic is if I can kill a fetus why not a baby? We are living in a culture of death.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    This is awful.
    I had one sister, eleven years younger than I. We had horrible parents. I was violently battered. My sister was psychologically destroyed.
    At times she was neglected, so I took care of her.
    One afternoon the house caught fire. Nobody except me thought of her.
    I said, "where's the baby?" and they ignored me.
    I took her out of the house and put her in the car.
    I grew up and got over our childhood.
    She ended up committing suicide.
    I didn't do a good enough job.
    My own three children are fine.
    If you don't want children, don't have them.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      wow....that is truly awful..

      November 17, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mr. Logic

    @ Lamarr Bennett, you are truly one ignorant and stupid person, so you think that killing the child prior to being Born is O.K. because I guess you see the child as not human since it has yet to be born? You are TRULY Stupid and much more, I just can't write them here because the post will get deleted but you are one Ignorant piece of ..............!

    I hope this sorry excuse of a woman dies in prison! ....................Poor baby R.I.P. Angel. It is very sad to read this kind of stories....... Children are Pure innocence and for someone, specially the mother/father has no forgiveness.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sandy

    Any one can have a baby is all the celebrate moms on every tabloid and magazine are blasting away. Women can buy sperm like its come commodity. There is no law banning this behavior of having such a child.Children do not fill the empty void, loneliness, depression, reliving childhood or feeling "whole as a woman" in ones life. This responsibility is not negotiable and its not part time job.
    Why are young women not being educated about responsibility of parenting in high school before they become pregnant?
    Violating the human rights of one own child, deliberately handicapping by condemning him or her to a fatherless life needs to be seen very seriously.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      They don't teach that any more. Its just say "no".

      November 17, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tina

    Oh please STOP trying to make this an abortion issue what in the hell is the matter with you! A child is dead! It's not about abortion CRAZY IS JUST CRAZY!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. benson

    It is a tragedy no doubt. The thought alone is sickening of harming a baby. However bad it may look, nobody can judge the girl because all we know is what we read. We will learn more as the trial proceeds

    November 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TheMayQueen

    And this is why mentally ill should not be allowed to reproduce. They hurt themselves...and OTHERS!

    November 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      Many murders are not mentally ill. Everyone has some sort of mental issues and it certainly doesn't excuse murder.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
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