MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. (TCD) -- A 36-year-old mother was recently sentenced to over two decades in prison after being convicted in the death of her 18-month-old daughter.
On June 8, after a three-day trial, Kaylee Ann Messerly was found guilty of two counts of felony child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in serious injury, according to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office. On Wednesday, Oct. 12, she was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the count of child abuse resulting in death and 10 years for the count of child abuse resulting in serious injury, KUSA-TV reports.
The Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened in March 2021 and that evidence showed "methamphetamine abuse was a contributing factor." On March 11, deputies reportedly responded to a suspicious vehicle near County Road 54 after a caller saw an empty stroller in the area.
The Sheriff’s Office told KUSA that Messerly was found approximately a mile away from the car with her 3-year-old daughter. Both Messerly and her daughter were suffering from environmental exposure injuries. Messerly’s 18-month-old daughter was reportedly found deceased nearby and was wearing a coat but no socks, shoes, or any type of hat or head covering. The child died due to hypothermia, and the death was ruled an accident.
According to an affidavit obtained by KUSA, one of the daughters tested positive for meth. Messerly reportedly said she and the daughter tested positive because they ate snow around an oil rig tank that had methane gas on the side.
After the extreme cold exposure, the 3-year-old girl reportedly had to have both of her feet amputated.
In a statement, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold said, "These tragedies were preventable, and those children were placed in a position that they could not get themselves out of."