CNN has the story up now (three weeks after my initial post). I updated this back on November 16th and finally have a mugshot to add. That’s about the only new stuff in this post.
Once I get a mugshot that doesn’t have the rest of the family in it I’ll post it here.
Back in December of 2007 Michelle Kehoe was driving her boys to the library, became distracted by her sons and veered off the road, plowed through a huge snow bank and landed in the Iowa River. Thanks to four good samaritans all three of them were pulled from the icy river.
It was a horrible accident that could have ended up with the death of three people were it not for the bravery and quick thinking of the gentlemen that pulled them out.
It was an accident, wasn’t it?
This past Sunday Michelle Kehoe and her two boys, Seth and Sean were traveling from their house in Coralville, Iowa to Sumner when they ended up getting lost. The father, Gene Kehoe reported the rest of the family missing shortly before 9pm on Sunday night.
At approximately 8am on Monday morning Michelle showed up at a house and told the person there that he children were in danger. Seth, the two-year-old son was found dead in the woods by police. Sean, the seven-year-old and his mother were seriously injured and were both taken to the hospital. She told investigators that they had been attacked by a man with a knife. The autopsy that was performed on Seth Kehoe Tuesday said that he died of cuts made with a sharp instrument.
So far Michelle Kehoe has been charged with Child Endangerment Resulting in Serious Injury although that may end up being a murder charge before all is said and done. From the arrest affidavit:
Emergency medical service and law enforcement personnel responded and later located the Defendant’s van based upon information that the Defendant provided. S.L.K was found deceased a short distance from the van. S.M.K. was found in the van having suffered knife wounds to his neck that later required surgery under general anesthesia. Duct tape was found in and around the van. A knife was found in the Hook-n-Liner pond a short distance from the van. A hand written note was found in the van detailing, among other things, an abduction of the Defendant and her children in progress in the Jesup area. During discussions with S.M.K. he stated that his mom had driven the van to the location, duct taped his eyes, nose and mouth and removed him from the van. S.M.K. stated that he then felt his neck being cut. S.M.K. stated that he heard S.L.K. call out and saw his mom hurting S.L.K. S.M.K. stated that at no time was anyone in the van or area where they had stopped other than he, his mom and S.L.K.
Maybe Michelle Kehoe had a break-down, which is what some of the folks I have read are conjecturing, but regardless of what happened and why, this is pretty fucked up.
Had she planned on killing both children and then herself or was she going to just kill them and then claim they were all abducted? It might be too that she had not intended at all to kill Seth Kehoe and this was just some screwed up sort of way to get the attention of someone else. At this point I don’t really know. It’s for sure that the thing was premeditated though. She bought he tape two months before the incident and the knife about a month prior. She wrote the kidnapping note a full month before she killed her son and rewrote it on October 26th, the day of the incident.
According to the report, Michelle Kehoe could not explain why she had done these things but she has admitted to the crime. She has also told police that she wanted to die or be locked up where she couldn’t hurt anyone else.
Updated – 25-year-old Michelle Kehoe has recanted her story of abduction and told investigators that she didn’t know why she hurt her children. She has now been charged Murder I, Attempted Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Serious Injury.
Update II 9/29/09 – The trial for Michelle Kehoe will no longer take place in Buchanan County. It has been moved to Grundy County in order to make sure that she gets a fair trial. The defense team for Kehoe is planning on pursuing an insanity defense, which for a change I tend to agree with. I don’t think that makes her any less guilty but she needs to be incarcerated in a mental institution somewhere where she can’t hurt anyone else.
Update III 11/6/09 – After deliberating for just over an hour and
a half the jury has found Michelle Kehoe guilty of First-Degree Murder,
Attempted Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Serious Injury. She
faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole for the
heinous murder of one of her sons.