A Palmerton couple charged in the death of their 11-month-old daughter, failed to provide proper care for the child and that was a major contributing factor in her death, a state police investigation alleges.
Troopers charged Kimberly Ann and Jacob Adam Taschler, of 803 Edgemont Ave., Palmerton, in connection with the death of Kayla Marie Taschler.
The two were charged and arraigned Tuesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person. The two were arriagned before District Judge Joseph Homanko, of Weatherly, and committed to the county prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The investigation conducted by state police at Lehighton and the Troop N Major Case Team, revealed that the child was born healthy and had no medical problems that would have led to the findings of an autopsy that showed she sufferd from severe signs of dehydration.
The report also stated an internal examination including toxicological analysis, and radiology, found that there was no medical reason for her to have suffered weight loss and dehydration. The affidavit of probable cause states, "Instead, the factors were external in that the child was not properly provided fluids and nutrition which resulted in her death."
The infomation also goes on to state through the course of the investigation troopers learned that the child was born Feb. 17, 2009, and weighed nine pounds and one ounce and there were no complications with the birth.
But, the report charges, the child was not seen by a doctor for almost eight months.
On Jan. 20 Kimberly Taschler brought the lifeless body of Kayla Taschler to the Palmerton Hospital emergency room. The report of Dr. Walter Bell of the ER, indicated the child was already cold to the touch and rigor mortis was noted. Additionally, troopers said the child had extensive red markings on her back and buttocks. Dr. Bell pronounced the child dead at 12:24 p.m.
The autopsy revealed the markings found on her back and buttocks was due to eroded skin that was the result of the child having prolonged exposure to moisture and being in contact with bodily wastes.
The autopsy, performed by Dr. Sara Funke, a forensic pathologist, found that the child weighed just 13 pounds. Dr. Funke reported the child displayed evidence of wasting, with extensive loss of weight and muscle mass.
Troopers said the investigation also revealed that during October 2009 the child weighed 16 pounds when examined by a doctor. The report states that prior to that the child did not receive any shots/immunizations. A followup visit with the doctor occurred in November 2009 at which time it was found that the child lost five ounces which prompted the doctor to voice concern, troopers said. Another followup visit was scheduled for December but the Taschler's never took the child back to the doctor.
Troopers said on the night of the victim's death, Kimberly Taschler strapped the child into a car seat and left her on the floor of an upstairs bedroom. The child was then left unattended for at least 16 hours without either parent checking on the child's welfare or providing food and or fluids.
Troopers said during this period of time the parents smoked marijuana.
Reportedly, the Taschler's have two other children who are currently in the custody of children and youth services.