A Utah woman was charged with murder after an autopsy done on her stepdaughter revealed the girl’s cause of death was suffocation and that she was killed.
Police also said that Mckenley Yadon admitted to killing her stepdaughter, 3-year-old Arianna Stout.
Court documents obtained by KUTV showed that Yadon, 24, was charged on May 30 with murder and child abuse.
Arianna was discovered unresponsive and cold to the touch when officers responded to a report of a child choking on March 14 just before noon. The girl was pronounced dead about an hour later.
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. https://t.co/1nvcpaPJoN
— KSL (@KSLcom) May 26, 2019
One of the officers who responded said that the girl appeared to be unresponsive for some time and noted he saw bruising on, in, and around the girl’s left ear.
The autopsy later found the girl’s death was a homicide and that she died from asphyxia by smothering.
Yadon and Arianna’s infant brother were the only people inside the home when officers arrived.
Officers wrote in an arrest report that Yadon confessed twice to smothering her stepdaughter and said that she waited at least 10 minutes before calling a friend, eventually triggering a 911 call.
Vernal City Police responded to a report of a choking child.
An autopsy later ruled the child’s cause of death was homicide; she died of “asphyxia due to smothering.”https://t.co/vRrpexEOtv
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) May 24, 2019
The 24-year-old woman told police she planned to smother her stepdaughter to death days before it happened.https://t.co/3nYVSdG2qe
— KUTV 2News (@KUTV2News) May 30, 2019
Yadon said she’d been planning the murder for several days.
“It is clearly a tragic situation,” Vernal City Assistant Chief of Police Keith Campbell told People magazine.
Arianna’s grandmother, Christina Cook, told Fox 13 that the girl “was just the most beautiful little redhead angel that was born.”
“She was one of those little girls that went out of her way to make sure that the other person was happy,” Cook added.
— KUTV 2News (@KUTV2News) May 26, 2019
Cook said she had a feeling Yadon was responsible for the death.
“We didn’t see any signs of her being abused,” Cook said. “I just had that gut feeling that she had done something. She was the last one to have physical contact with my granddaughter.”
In an obituary for the girl, family members noted that she was due to turn 4.
“During her short time here on Earth, she touched many lives and was loved by all who met her. Arianna was born May 19, 2015, with the most beautiful smile and bright red hair, our beloved shining, always smiling and giggling, playful, light of our lives and the star of our hearts, happy girl, she loved her family and animals. Her dad and uncle Daniel made sure she played in the dirt and rode four-wheelers, while at the same moment she was a put me in a dress let’s play tea party,” the family wrote.
A funeral was held on March 20.