Breaking news: Mother’s boyfriend held for investigation of rape, murder of Centralia child

Friday, May 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm
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James M. Reeder is escorted out of court and back down to the jail.

Updated at 11:37 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors told a judge this afternoon they believe a Centralia toddler was raped and tortured before she died.

James M. Reeder, 25, appeared before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon. He is the mother’s live-in boyfriend.

Reeder was not charged, but was ordered held on probable cause for murder, child rape and assault.

Koralynn Fister, 2, was pronounced dead at Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday after Reeder carried her to a house across the street and said he found her face down in the bathtub after he stepped out to get a towel. He was arrested last night.

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Koralynn Fister

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter said his client absolutely and positively denies the allegations and has no history of any felony.

The judge ordered the Centralia resident held on $5 million bail.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer requested a 72-hour hold on Reeder to allow more time for investigation and a final charging decision.

The filed declaration of probable cause describes significant bruising, cuts, abrasions and other wounds found on the child’s body, some in more advanced stages of healing than others.

Among the injuries noted were palm-sized pieces of skin missing from her buttocks, caused according to forensic evaluation, by traumatic injuries inflicted upon the child.

The declaration also mentions missing skin on the top and bottom of a toe, but offers no specific explanation for how any wounds were inflicted.

The pathologist’s examination found four distinct areas of head trauma, according to the declaration. Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said earlier today Koralynn died from that and drowning.

Prosecutor Meyer indicated in his filing he believed probable cause existed for at least two counts of rape and assault.

Meyer’s declaration says none of the injuries were noted in a well-child exam conducted in early April and that Reeder has been living with the mother and her two daughters for about 10 weeks.

The prosecutor wrote that Reeder persuaded the mother about a month ago  to divide up parenting duties and would insist when the mother left, she take the oldest daughter with her, leaving him time alone with the toddler.

A passage in the declaration includes Reeder telling police the bath began shortly after the mother and older child left the residence at about 12:30 p.m., and neighbors reporting it was around 3:15 p.m. when Reeder was beating on their door, holding the girl and yelling for help.

The fire department was called at 3:09 p.m.

The neighbors said Reeder did CPR on their porch until aid arrived. A witness indicated the child was cold to the touch, according to the declaration.

Centralia Police Department Officer Gary Byrnes noticed the smell of burnt marijuana inside the house, the declaration states.

When Prosecutor Meyer asked for high bail, he said Reeder was a danger to others, even the mother.

“I won’t go into graphic detail, but suffice it to say, that in my career this is the worst case of child abuse and neglect that I have seen,” Meyer said.

Defense attorney Schroeter asked for reasonable bail, pointed out to the judge a row of Reeder’s family members sitting in the back of the courtroom.

“Nobody is more distraught about this situation than Mr. Reeder,” Schroeter said.

“All indications are one person took positive action on behalf of this child,” he said. “And that is Mr. Reeder.”

Judge Richard Brosey granted prosecutor’s request to return Reeder to the courtroom on Tuesday afternoon.

Police today continued searching the house off of West Oakview Avenue.

The 4-year-old half sister has been taken into temporary protective custody.

The state Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration issued a statement saying they have no record of history involving the child, nor any previous allegations of abuse or neglect against the mother, Becky Heupel or her boyfriend.

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63 Responses to “Breaking news: Mother’s boyfriend held for investigation of rape, murder of Centralia child”

  1. someone says:

    Inocent untill proven guilty…..

  2. madmom says:

    any crime against a child should be dealt with in the worst way,what a sick puke

  3. madmom says:

    what kind of mother trades her daughters life for her crack head boyfriend?there is no way she didnt know of any previous abuse if there clearly is evidence of it and she has to be sick to let her boyfriend be alone with her,much less bathe her,and where was she???shes just as guilty as him.i hope they both burn in hell

  4. Fear Not says:

    This what happens when you hook up with a small minded controlling pi**ant. My guess is dude was a punching bag for someone when he was goring up, and he took it out on this poor child. Mark my words, this guy will end up being some kind of control freak.

    Also…@mee, Look homie that knucklehead got 92 years, not 96 and he didn’t shoot at a building, he shot at people. Seven of them in fact. So do us all a favor, and quit whining. Vato wanted to put in the work, he has to expect some consequences. Little hoodlum got what he deserved and he’s only slightly less of a low life than this little a**wipe. By the way, “cuz” isn’t a word, unless you’re some uneducated moron, and judging by your spelling, I’m guessing that’s the case. Get back to school, or at least learn to write, spell and form an actual sentence.

  5. Robbie says:

    When this scumbag insisted she take her other daughter with her warning bells should have gone off. Either the birth canal was strung out or completely oblivious to her little baby girls pleas not to leave her alone with the biggest monster in her life. So tragic :-(

  6. wtf says:

    Poor little girl.

  7. GuiltyBystander says:

    Don’t start packing your bags for Beijing just yet. China may not have the level of sexual abuse of children we sadly have here, but their “one-child” government policy has led to the murders of God knows how many baby girls because parents there want their one child to be a boy.

  8. Disgusted says:

    I just found out that some states DO execute child rapists:

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_8526618

    We should fight for similar laws in this state! It wouldn’t apply in the case of this POS, but I love the idea.

    China doesn’t have many sex crimes because they execute rapists and child molesters. Maybe I ought to quit my job, sell my house and brush up on my Cantonese. ;-)

  9. Disgusted says:

    “me” – the child does NOT have her hands on her privates NOR are they down her pants! When I first saw your comment about this posted, I went back and looked closer at the photo thinking I had missed something. I confirmed (to myself) that this is NOT the case. You either need glasses or you’re delusional. HOWEVER, if a grown man rapes a two year old baby, who is likely still in diapers, I do not see how it is possible that you would not know something was wrong when bathing or changing her. The Chronicle even said in one of its stories that an aunt noticed something wrong in the diaper area somewhere and told the mother. When the stupid bitch mother asked about it, the freak explained it away as some kind of “typical childhood injury.” Even after this, she left the baby alone with this guy to be murdered. I also wonder if the child screamed and clung to her mother when she knew she was being left alone with this piece of shit? Maybe the mother is too mentally retarded to be raising children without supervision, or was so strung out on meth she didn’t notice or ignored the obvious warning signs that most parents would pick up on. Either way, I feel she is nearly as guilty as the pig that did this.

  10. me says:

    momma of 8 or daniel or whatever u have 8 kids do they all have their hands on their privates…it makes a big difference signs of sexual abuse hello!

  11. mee says:

    WELL HONESTLY I THINK THAT IF THAT SICK FUK GETS ANYTHING LESS THEN A 96 YEAR SENTANCE THAT IT WOULD BE A HUGE DISSAPOINTMENT….THAT WOLLD BE SAYING YOU CANT SHOOT AT BUILDINGS CUZ YOU WILL GET THROWN AWAY FOR LITTARLY LIFE …BUT IF YOU HURT A INOCIENT CHILD …..I HOPE THAT HE GETS LOCKED UP FOREVER AN EVERYDAY HE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT ……AN AS FOR THE MOTHER I HOPE SHE GETS CHARGED WITH SOMETHING AS WELL HOW THE HELL ARE YOU NOT GOING TO KNOW THAT YOUR BABY IS BEING HURT ….THAT BITCH HAD TO HAVE KNOWN IF NOT BEING APART OF THE CRIME ….LOCK BOTH THE SICK HORIBLE PEOPLE UP….NO CHILD DISERVES TO BE HURT LIKE THAT …..

  12. Disgusted says:

    Agreed Kcat. The bitch should never see her other child again, nor should she be allowed to have any others. I wonder if she is also a tweaker on welfare?

  13. kcat says:

    You’ve got to love the fact that this piece of shit is crying like a baby in court. I hope the mother gets charged as well. Any halfway decent single mother would put her child before a piece of ass, how sad that this one chose not too. Not only would I never allow any man to babysit my daughter, but if one ever suggested/insisted that I do so it would be the last time he ever even laid eyes on my child. I don’t care what her excuse is, she’s an unfit mother and as guilty as he is.

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