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ALTA VISTA, IA – An Alta Vista couple has been charged with murder after the maggot-riddled body of their severely neglected 4-month-old child was found in a baby swing at the family’s apartment in Iowa.

Zachary Paul Koehn, 28, and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Cheyanne Renae Harris, had the bracelets slapped on this past Wednesday when they were charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment.

According to court records, their son, Sterling Daniel Koehn, was found dead Aug. 30 after Zachary Koehn called 911 requesting an ambulance come to the couple’s home.

When Chickasaw County sheriff’s deputies and medics arrived, they found the deceased infant sitting in a powered baby swing, according to the criminal complaints. Sterling was found in a bedroom separate from where Koehn, Harris and their older child slept.

No report of whether the room had an Air Wick, though autopsy results suggest it must’ve been getting pretty ripe in there.

When deputies first arrived at the couple’s apartment, Koehn reportedly told them that Harris had fed Sterling that morning and, “he was fine.”

Koehn claimed that when Harris checked on their son a few hours later, he had died, according to the complaint. Not surprisingly, his story didn’t exactly line up with autopsy findings and other investigation results.

The autopsy revealed “maggots in various stages of development in his clothing and in his skin,” court records show. A forensic entomologist determined after studying the creepy critters that Sterling hadn’t been removed from the swing in over a week, and that the couple hadn’t changed his diaper nor given him a bath in that time.

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The baby’s death was ruled a homicide by the state Medical Examiner, with the cause of death listed as failure to provide critical care. Guess they don’t have a charge for providing no care at all.

In the criminal complaint, Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Reed Palo wrote, “The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.”

Sterling weighed less than 7 pounds at the time of the autopsy and was severely undernourished and undersized, according to court records. The boy had been born in May. The couple’s older child, who was not named, is safe, Palo told reporters in a telephone interview. He said he was unable to provide further details.

Harris and Koehn were each jailed in Chickasaw County and are being held on $100,000 cash-only bond. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2.

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