Three charged after Morgan County toddler burned, injured
MORGAN COUNTY - Prosecutors charged three people Friday in connection with an apparent case of child abuse.
According to court documents, on January 31 a woman called 911 to report a child with burns on its hands and face, and that there was "no skin left on the child's fingers." The woman told dispatchers the child's mother, identified as Skylar Duhn, didn't want to call for help because she "had an active case with the Division of Family Services."
Deputies went to the home, where they said they found the boy with "obvious burns," and called for an ambulance. Duhn reportedly told them she thought the child had fallen into a space heater while she was at work. She further said her boyfriend, Troy Wyche, had left the home before deputies arrived because he was "scared to go back to prison." Wyche was previously charged with child abuse in 2018 involving the same child. Deputies then took Duhn into custody for questioning.
Later in the day, deputies found a Jeep Renegade at a Walmart, with license plates registered to Duhn's Mercury vehicle. Court documents said surveillance video from the Walmart showed Wyche take clothing from the store without paying, after which he was picked up by a white SUV.
Deputies later found the SUV in Stover and pulled it over. The driver, Rebecca Coerver, is Wyche's mother. She and Wyche were then taken into custody.
Doctors later determined the boy had third-degree burns on his hand, as well as cuts and a rash on his eyelids, forehead and face, and bruising to his groin.
In her interview, Duhn told deputies she got a message on January 27 from Wyche that the boy had gotten salsa all over him. When Duhn got home, she saw the boy's eyes had swollen shut and thought he was having an allergic reaction. She told deputies when she tried to wipe the salsa off, his skin came off with the washcloth.
Duhn said the next day, January 28, she got a call from Wyche that the boy had pulled a TV and TV stand over onto himself. She saw bruising on the boy's pelvic area and eyes. On January 29, Duhn said she saw a burn on the boy's hand. She told deputies she though all these injuries happened while Wyche was watching her kids and she was at work.
Duhn then reportedly admitted she knew the boy needed medical treatment but was afraid to go to jail and lose her kids. She said she also knew Wyche had a "no contact" order regarding the injured child.
In Coerver's interviews with deputies, she reportedly said Wyche called her to pick him up at the Walmart, and that he needed to see his attorney in Osage Beach. Coerver further said Duhn had brought her son to Coerver's home, where she saw the boy's injuries. Coerver said she told Duhn to take the child to a hospital, and that she thought "something was up" due to the child's injuries and Wyche's previous abuse accusation. When deputies asked why Coerver did not call 911 after learning about the child's injuries, she said she thought Duhn would take him to a hospital, and that it was Duhn's responsibility not hers, to seek medical attention for the boy.
Duhn faces charges of child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child; her bond is set at $125,000. Wyche is charged with three counts of child abuse; his bond is set at $250,000. Coerver is charged with hindering prosecution, and has posted her $2,500 bond. She is set for arraignment Tuesday.