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Deputies: Baby Chance’s mother, Kristen Bury, found dead inside jail

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A death investigation is underway after the mother of Baby Chance was found unresponsive inside the Sarasota County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

A correctional officer discovered Kristen Bury early Saturday and began life-saving measures.

According to the sheriff’s office, Bury was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators say suicide is likely cause of death.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death.

In January, Bury was sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in the murder of her son, Chance Walsh.

The infant’s body was found in a wooded area of North Port. Investigators said that Joseph Walsh, Chance’s father, beat the 9-week-old to death following an argument with Bury. The couple left the baby in the crib where his body began to decompose. When the smell became overwhelming, the couple then buried the infant’s body in a shallow grave.

Deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Bury was back at the jail for court proceeding not related to the murder.

Bay News 9 – news

September 10, 2016 |

Sheriff: Boy, 6, violently kills 2-week-old sister; 62-year-old mother arrested

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Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said a 6-year-old boy "violently killed" his 2-week-old sister when the two were left alone inside a hot car while the mother went into a store.

The mother, 62-year-old Kathleen Marie Steele, of North Redington Beach, was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated manslaughter.

  • Mom, 62, arrested after death of newborn daughter
  • Sheriff said 6-year-old brother beat baby to death
  • Happened while mom left kids in car alone for 30 minutes, sheriff said

Gualtieri said Steele left the baby, also named Kathleen, alone in a vehicle with the 6-year-old and another child, age 3, while she went into a cell phone store in St. Pete on Monday, August 8.

Baby Kathleen started crying. According to reports, her cries are what prompted her brother to beat her to death.

"The way he was describing it, he was tossing that baby around like a rag doll,” said Gualtieri. "Her appearance was one of just a kid that had been pummeled."

The sheriff said the children were left in the vehicle with the doors locked and windows up for 30 minutes.

When Steele got back to the car, the 6 year old told her baby Kathleen was hurt but she apparently ignored him.

After they got home, she called a neighbor who then called 911. But it was too late, the baby was already dead. The sheriff explains her mother’s reaction.

"Deputies are there, paramedics are there working on a 13-day-old baby who’s obviously dead,” said Gualtieri. “And she turns around and goes into the kitchen and starts putting groceries away, who does that?"

And making this story even more unusual, Steele was the baby’s biological mother. Gualtieri said Steele was artificially inseminated with her dead husband’s sperm.

The 6-year-old is so young that he is not being charged. Gualtieri said the 6 year old did show some remorse.

"At one point he did make a statement, something to the effect of "sometimes people make really bad mistakes,” he said.

The two children have been placed in the care of Department of Children and Families.

The sheriff says Child Protection Investigators were called to look into the family a couple of times in recent weeks. There was a complaint to a hotline that the children weren’t being supervised properly but he says investigators found no evidence of that.

He also says Steele had the baby unbuckled in a carrier and she fell out on the stairs. She took her to the hospital but investigators thought that was an accident.

Bay News 9 – news

August 11, 2016 |

Mother fights senior living community over daughter

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A Polk County mother is fighting a senior living community after the board wouldn’t allow her to move in with her daughter with special needs.

Linda Haase says she couldn’t wait to move into Skyview Estates. The quiet, gated mobile home community only allows people over the age 55 to move in. If the resident’s spouse or dependent is in the home, the person must be 45 or older.

But Haase has a 26-year-old daughter named Nikole with cerebral palsy. Nicole can’t live alone, and needs her mother for care.

"The main reason I want to live there is because my family’s there. My parents are there, my sister’s there, my brother-in-laws are there," Haase said.
 
Haase says the board at Skyview Estates refuses to let her move in, even after she filed a complaint detailing her daughter’s condition.

In fact, board members recently met and approved hiring a lawyer to fight the complaint.

Haase believes the board of the community is violating the Fair Housing Act.

Board members would not talk to Bay News 9 for comment, but at the recent meeting, some expressed concern over keeping their senior living status. Some community members worry if they break the rules and let one person in, the whole community will change.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations can’t comment on specific cases. But a lawyer there tells Bay News 9 that the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers, including condominium associations, to make reasonable accommodations to their policies. That could include a waiver of occupancy or age limits in order to approve a live-in caregiver for a disabled resident.
 
A final decision should come down this summer on whether Haase will be allowed to move in.

Bay News 9 – local-news

March 29, 2016 |
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