Infant Found Dead in Dryer, Mother Charged With Murder

A young Arkanas mother was charged with murder after her 1-month-old daughter was found dead in a dryer Tuesday, wrapped inside clothes.

tyra neal
(Photo: Poinsett County Sheriff's Office)

Tyra Neal, 25, of Pitts, Arkansas was charged with second degree murder and abuse of a corpse, reports Fox13.

According to a statement the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Office sent to PEOPLE, the baby's father discovered the body of their infant daughter Caseleigh inside the dryer in their mobile home. The father was detained by police at first, but was later released and was not charged.

Deputies found the body at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the cause of death was "thermal injuries," meaning she died from severe burns. According to WREG, the body is being sent to the Arkansas State Lab in Little Rock for the autopsy.

Neal was in court on Thursday and given a $1 million cash-only bond.

Family told WREG that Neal has four other children.

According to the Jonesboro Sun, Neal first told police a 2-year-old put the baby in the dryer. However, she later told investigators she put the baby in hot water since she had diarrhea. She got scared and put the baby in the dryer, she told police.

“I’m shocked, like, how could you do that to a baby? That’s sad," Ashtyn Hayse, who lives near Neal, told WREG.

Neal's next court appearance is set for July 31.

This is just the most recent case of a child found dead inside a dryer. In April, 10-year-old Fernando Hernandez, Jr. was found deceased inside a dryer in Houston. Police said he was playing hide and seek with friends and his 9-year-old brother. The cause of death was electrocution in that case, reports ABC13.

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In 2009, a Louisiana teenager was charged with killing a 5-month-old by putting the baby in a dryer and turning it on. Arielle Smith, who was 19 at the time, was caring for the children of a friend who was working. The baby was in the dryer for three minutes, suffering skull fractures and burns, according to prosecutors. She later admitted to prosecutors she put the child in the dryer because he was "rambunctious and interfering with her television show." In 2010, she was sentenced to life in prison, NOLA.com reports.

In another 2009 case, a 14-year-old admitted to California investigators that he drowned his 4-year-old neighbor and put the body in a dryer because the child was going to reveal he was molested by the teen, the Associated Press reported.