OTTUMWA, IOWA: A mother is all set to face a retrial after allegedly confessing to strangling her five-year-old daughter to death. The case of Kelsie Thomas, who allegedly killed Cloe Chandler in 2018, will now be settled by a judge in the bench trial after the suspect requested it. According to reports, on July 19, 2018, at a home in Ottumwa, Iowa, the accused allegedly murdered her daughter using a pair of pajama pants. After receiving a 911 call, cops arrived at the scene at around 3:22 pm, where they found Cloe unresponsive.
The girl, who had graduated from preschool, was soon rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. When initially questioned by investigators, Thomas claimed Cloe “hung herself” using her pajama pants by mistake while making a swing in her closet. But eventually, she allegedly confessed to the murder. “Ms. Thomas, through this walk-through, it did strike me as off that there really wasn’t any emotion involved in this, at this point, we were less than 24 hours from the death of her daughters. And there really wasn’t any emotion involved with this, essentially walking officers and investigators through how she found her daughter dead,” officer Michael Sieren, who was one of the first to respond to the address after the incident, told KTVO.
Many of the mother’s relatives stated that Thomas did not like Cloe because she allegedly reminded her of her abusive ex, Steven Chandler, who was also the father of the girl. Also, it was said after remarrying, when the suspect again became a mother, she started ignoring the victim.
As reported by The Sun, police said initially, Thomas told them she found Cloe hanging in her closet after she woke up from a nap. She said that her daughter “was trying to make a swing from pajama pants.” But her story started to change when questioned later and subsequently after a continuous interrogation, the mother reportedly confessed that she killed Cloe. Also, an autopsy report by Medical Examiner Michelle Catellier, M.D., stated that the girl died by ligature strangulation. The death of Cloe was declared a homicide.
In March 2020, the trial began and the defense claimed that Thomas was not guilty while arguing her confession was the result of hours of interrogation. The woman was acquitted by the jury on the child endangerment charge, but could not decide whether to acquit her on the first-degree murder charge. Now, a judge will decide Thomas’ future while both the sides have the time till November 30 to submit written closing arguments. If found guilty, the suspect will face life imprisonment.
In another incident, a woman was arrested after she allegedly killed a child after he ignored her order to climb down from a sink while brushing his teeth. The three-year-old boy was allegedly murdered by Te’Lea Jefferson, who used a tire iron while his six-year-old brother watched at a home in Tallahassee, Florida. Initially, the 23-year-old suspect said to the investigators that the victim fell from the sink as he lost his balance, but eventually confessed to the alleged killing. “His refusal to climb down when told angered her. Jefferson said that she walked into the bedroom and retrieved the tire iron from a tool kit. She advised that she returned to the bathroom and threw the tire iron at (him), striking him upon the side of the face,” the arrest report stated.