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Utah police identify 3-year-old girl allegedly smothered to death by stepmother

By Marjorie Cortez, KSL | Posted - May 26th, 2019 @ 5:25pm


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VERNAL — Vernal police identified Sunday a 3-year-old girl who was allegedly smothered to death by her stepmother.

Assistant Police Chief Keith Campbell confirmed the girl's identity as Arianna Rose Stout, who was nearly 4 years old when she died on March 14.

The 24-year-old suspect, Mckenley Yadon, also known as Mckenley Stout, remains in the Uintah County Jail with no bail after she was booked into the facility on Thursday, facing possible charges of aggravated murder and child abuse. Her first appearance in court will likely be on Tuesday, Campbell said during a news conference Sunday morning.

Vernal police said they were summoned to a home at 1536 W. 300 South on a report of an unresponsive child. The caller described the incident as a choking, according to an affidavit filed in 8th District Court in Vernal in support of Yadon's arrest.

But the officer who responded to the home reported the 3-year-old "had been down for a period of time," police wrote. The officer saw dark purple and black bruising around the girl's left ear, the affidavit states, and "it was immediately apparent that these injuries were not consistent with the details initially provided for the medical response."

The toddler was pronounced dead later at a hospital, the affidavit states. An autopsy found she died from asphyxia caused by smothering.

When Yadon was arrested Thursday, she told police she had smothered the child using a blanket on the girl's bed, police wrote.

"Mckenley stated she had been planning and thinking about doing this act for two or three days prior to March 14," the affidavit states.

Campbell said Child Protective Services caseworkers have been involved since Arianna Rose Stout's death to ensure the safety of other children in the household during the course of the investigation.

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