Murder Trial Set for Ottumwa Mom Investigators Say Admitted to Strangling Daughter


Kelsie Thomas (WHO-HD)

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OTTUMWA, Iowa – The trial for an Ottumwa mother investigators say confessed to strangling her five-year-old daughter with pajama pants has been scheduled for September.

A pretrial order filed Monday reveals Kelsie Thomas will stand trial for her daughter Cloe Chandler’s murder on September 10th. The child was found unresponsive in the family’s home on North James Street on July 19th, 2018. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of Cloe’s death was ligature strangulation. The death was ruled a homicide.

According to a search warrant application, the day after Cloe’s death Thomas told investigators she found Cloe in the child’s closet – hanging from the neck from a pair of jeans. She claimed her daughter had tied a pair of jeans over the top of the dowel rod in the closet and may have fallen while swinging on them.

Court documents say during an interview with investigators on July 26th, Thomas confessed to strangling Cloe with a pair of pajama pants. She was charged with murder and arrested the same day.

Thomas’ trial will be held in Wapello County.


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