Girl, two, ‘systematically tortured and raped by mother’s boyfriend’ before drowning in bathtub
A two-year-old girl who was found drowned in a bathtub was systematically tortured prior to her death, a court has heard.
Investigators believe Koralynn Fister was raped and suffered from prolonged abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend.
Details of the alleged abuse were revealed as James M. Reeder appeared in court accused of her death from drowning and blunt head trauma.
Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the injuries suffered by the toddler were the worst he had ever come across in his legal career.
‘I won’t go into graphic detail, but suffice it to say that in my entire legal career, this is the worst case of child abuse and neglect I have seen,’ Mr Meyer said.
According to court documents filed in Centralia, Washington, Reeder repeatedly raped the child and hurt her so badly that patches of skin were missing from her body.
Detectives said Reeder asked the girl’s mother for permission to babysit her every day.
Reeder called 911 at approximately on Thursday afternoon to report that the child was not breathing. Medics arrived to find him performing CPR on the girl, who was unconscious.
He told police he had been giving the girl a bath when he left the room to grab a towel. When he returned to the bathroom, he said the girl was underwater, facedown and unconscious.
The girl was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
An autopsy revealed both new and old injuries.
‘There are injuries that are recent injuries and injuries that have healed, and those always lead us to believe that there’s a long-term problem that’s been occurring,’ said Centralia Police Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald.
Reeder was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and booked into Lewis County Jail.
Neighbors said they had often heard the girl crying loudly at disturbing levels.
‘I was tempted, so tempted to call the sheriff’s office and tell them about it because it was awful,’ said neighbor Ella Morgan.
‘I’m so sorry I didn’t call somebody. A kid don’t cry all the time, and this kid cried all the time. I mean, [she] cried into a big scream.’
Child Protective Services said it has no record of previous dealings with the girl’s family.
A 4-year-old girl also lives at the home, but she was not present at the time of the incident. She has been placed in protective custody.
Police believe the attacks began after April as the victim had been medically examined by authorities and there were no signs of abuse.