Two people were arrested and charged with felonious child abuse after a toxicology report revealed that a four-year-old ingested illegally obtained drugs.
Taylor Corley, 27, and her estranged boyfriend Michael Stevens, 31, will face a minimum of five years to a maximum of life in prison according to Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox. Both Corley and Stevens had their initial appearance in Laurel Municipal Court on Friday where Judge Kyle Robertson set bond at $250,000 for both suspects.
“The original call was on Sunday, January 31,” said Cox. “It was Investigator Crabtree’s call on College Drive in North Laurel at 9:35 a.m. where he found an unresponsive four-year-old female child. The investigation has drug on for three months because of interviews, other officers assisting him, and Deputy Coroner Ernest Hollingsworth has been helping with the case.”
On the 31st, officers attempted to administer life-saving measures to the four-year-old, but according to the report, she had been deceased for quite some time. Hollingsworth pronounced her deceased at the scene.
Both suspects were at the scene and were questioned, where Corley reportedly said the child went to sleep the night before but was unresponsive the next morning. Corley was said to have called 911 while Stevens administered CPR.
“We took toxicology to not only the crime lab, and the autopsy portion, but we consulted an outside agency that we have to pay. This has been time-consuming, but we finally got enough information and charged the two suspects,” said Cox.
“This is a horrible situation and our hearts go out to all of the family involved,” continued Cox. “We have wanted to go about this the right way to be successful in any kind of prosecution. That’s what has taken so long. This was different than having a witness on the scene saying ‘there he is, he did it and having a victim. This is a horrible, horrible situation.”
Felonious child abuse is all that the initial charge for now due to the toxicology report proving so. Cox added that changes could occur if new evidence comes clear.
“The DA can obviously present a different charge to the grand jury,” said Cox when referencing why the charge was felonious child abuse and nothing more.
“Again, our thoughts go out to the family. We also want to thank the uninvolved family for their patience. They have been in contact with everyone on at least a weekly basis since this has occurred. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. A lot of people get impatient, but there are some things that you have to have patience with,” said Cox.
“It’ll be in the hands of the DA, grand jury, and things like that,” added Cox.