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. chulosmom

    This mother had some serious issues. The baby was not co-operating, (her words), wouldn't lay down or go back to sleep. Lady, he was 1 year old, what were you expecting? There was probably a reason for what he was doing but instead of trying to figure it out you beat him until he died. He was a defenseless child and nothing you can say or do will ever bring him back. As others have said you should have walked out of the room and let him cry for a bit instead of taking your frustrations out on him. When my son was little, we would drive him around in the car if he was having trouble sleeping. He might have wanted to just be held by you for a while. You will never know.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. petemg

    too many cases like this since Casey Anthony was released. I hope Anthony's jurors have regrets in letting her go.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JA

      There have always been cases like this. They just weren't in the media as much.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      Exactly...there have always been parents killing their children. Its just now its online immediately vs a newspaper that reports only your local town or major cities.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. dgkdgk

    "Just please pray ... " – the hypocrisy of that statement is enough to induce vomiting.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Agree. And it's pretty far fetched that a normal parent experience the panic when a kid is missing would take the time to text back after a call. I lost sight of my kid once for a few seconds and I'll never forget the feeling of panic. I would be going out of my mind and can't imagine I'd be texting anybody.

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

    Just another reason young people need to learn about birth control – and USING it. I think she's only 20? So sad how these young mothers can't handle a fussy child. RIP buddy. Children are mean't to be looked after – they can't help themselves. Hope the mother rots in a jail cell.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • riley

      Plenty of 20 year old women have children and do not kill them. Her age is not an excuse. We charge 12 year old kids as adults. A 20 year old knows right from wrong.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Roberto

    Yodeeho, ChristineLA. STATISTICALLY...YES. Do your research. And check YOUR facts. I ain't saying that it's limited to the lower income genre. It isn't. But the majority of children born out of wedlock and in lower socio-economic groups FAR exceeds the higher well-to-do classes. Take a drive around east Baltimore sometime. You'll see what I mean. I've got a video on my phone of a pregnant woman taking ten minutes to light a cigarette whilst attempting to stay upright on her feet because she's so blitzed out on heroine. What's gonna happen to THAT poor child?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. poop

    Oh, you're all such perfect parents, aren't you? Kids are a pain in the ass. Don't have them if you can't handle them.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • wow

      Hope you are sterilized. We don't need any more idiots like you in this world.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dakota

    Poop, judiging from your post, your parents were far from perfect.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AlienShark

    I hate hate hate hearing about little kids loosing their lives. Hopefully one day we don't have to hear these type of stories so much any more. Its like every week now.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jj

    spay banz? my kitty doesnt appreciate that word! lol lol lol agreed tho some people should not be allowed to procreate.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dakota

    There does seem to be a rise in these types of stories lately...prolly because the media is so in your face all the time to garner ratings...it's so bloody sad that these poor kids are getting the spotlight after the fact...

    November 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dakota

    Spay banz sounds like some sort of weird sunglasses...

    November 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @Jj:
    Lol. I know, I know...my dog growls at me if I mention that word...sheesh! You'd think she'd forgive me by now!

    November 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    Such a tragedy. I'm almost embarrassed to live in the same city as her.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. pj

    A child is a gift. Try dealing with th drs telling u your 5 wk old first child needs life or death surgery and signing th consent forms! My son will be 18 on Fri. He's th light of our lives as well as th death of us being ALL BOY! There were time we could've quit, but then we nevr wouldve seen th kind,considerate,and level headed man he's become!! There aren't instruction books tht come wth being a parent, its trial and error, be consistent and tell em u love em no mattr how mad u actually are, u never know if or when they'll be called home!

    November 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobby

    I hate to say it but this is what happens when an 18 yr old trailer trash with no good education, good support system or even a husband or stable family get pregnant and has babies.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tennesean

      Unfortunately that is becoming more an more common in this country. There are way to many young people having kids out of wedlock with no good family support to start with. Of course they are exceptions but unfortunately many these kids will grow up to become like their parents or worst!
      I'm usually an optimistic person but with this unstoppable trend continuing I'm afraid pretty soon this great country will become a hellhole! Heck many cities are already like there! I know a large portion of st. louis is worst off than many 3rd world countries. SAD indeed!

      November 17, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • riley

      A high school education and being poor is not an excuse for killing an infant. She could have taken him to a hospital or police station. We just had a case in Nashville of a lady who was 23 with a college degree and upper middle class who killed her newborn twins. Evil doesn't know "class".

      November 17, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
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