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Moffat County mother convicted of felony child abuse in death of 8-month-old daughter

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Posted at 7:31 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 07:22:43-04

MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. — A Moffat County mother was convicted of felony child abuse Wednesday in the death of her 8-month-old daughter, the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced.

On March 11, 2021, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle near County Road 54 in unincorporated Moffat County at about 8 a.m. They found the vehicle on a service road south of County Road 54, which is not frequently traveled in winter months. The vehicle appeared to be stuck in the mud and snow and was unoccupied.

After mobilizing a search, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office found Kaylee Messerly, 36, and her 3-year-old daughter suffering from environmental exposure injuries. The 18-month-old daughter was dead.

Messerly and the 3-year-old were taken to the Memorial Regional Health in Craig. The 3-year-old was then flown to Children's Hospital in Aurora.

Messerly was arrested in April 2021 on charges of child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. On Wednesday, she was found guilty of both charges.

“These tragedies were preventable, and those children were placed in a position that they could not get themselves out of," said 14th Judicial Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold. "The evidence showed that methamphetamine abuse was a contributing factor. There are no winners in these types of cases. Emma Smith is lost to her family, Alena Smith has life-altering injuries, and now Kaylee Messerly faces a prison sentence for her actions. We thank the jury for their attention and service in this trial, particularly given the tragic subject matter.”

Messerly's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 1.