FOUKE, Arkansas — Two parents initially charged with manslaughter in the death of their 7-month-old daughter are now charged with second-degree murder and neglect of the twin in Miller County.
24-year-old Crystal Morrow and 19-year-old Dustin Harley were arrested by the Miller County Sheriff’s Office in the September death of their 7-month-old daughter, Kimberly, in February 2020. They were also arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor for the alleged suffering of Kimberly’s twin brother, who is expected to survive.
An emergency call was made Sept. 27, 2019, from the couple’s home because Kimberly and her brother were “having trouble breathing.” First responders attempted life saving measures which briefly revived Kimberly but she died at the scene. Kimberly’s brother was airlifted to a Texarkana hospital and later to a Little Rock hospital in dire medical condition.
The laundry room where the children slept in a day crib was allegedly “piled high with laundry” and crawling with roaches, investigators say. Roaches were allegedly seen crawling in the crib.
The couple allegedly told MCSO Investigator Patsy DeHart that Crystal had given the babies bottles early that morning and the night before. Crystal allegedly reported that she’d gone to check on the children when her father paid the home a visit.
Dakota Bloyd, Miller County’s Coroner, allegedly noted that Kimberly was wearing a full diaper, had secretions around her mouth, nose and ears and had dirty fingernails. Arkansas Children’s Hospital staff described Kimberly’s brother as severely dehydrated with signs of medical distress that any adult would recognize as an emergency.
The autopsy and charges…
An autopsy performed on Kimberly found she was in less than the 5th percentile for her age. Kimberly’s ribs were protruding and her eyes and fontanelle were allegedly sunken.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell formally charged the couple this month with second-degree murder in Kimberly’s death and with endangering the welfare of a minor for the alleged neglect of her twin brother.
The couple faces six to 30 years for second-degree murder and a fine up to $15,000. If convicted of endangering the welfare of a minor, Morrow and Harley face up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, if convicted.
Bail for Crystal Morrow and Dustin Harley is set at $50,000. They are held in the Miller County jail.
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