Affton Mother Charged With Murder In Beating Death Of Her Toddler Son

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AFFTON, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com)— Police have charged an Affton mother with murder in connection with the death of her 13-month-old son. Shelby Anne Dasher was charged with second degree murder for killing her baby boy Tyler Dasher.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday around 3 p.m. McCullough said the cause of death is from multiple blunt force trauma.

McCulloch says Shelby Ann Dasher allegedly repeatedly struck the toddler because he would not stop crying. Police say the baby had many bruises on his body.

The prosecutor said Shelby Dasher went out the night before but he would not say if she had used drugs or if alcohol was involved. Robert McCulloch, the prosecutor, said there were no signs of previous abuse to the little boy.

Dasher is being held in jail in lieu of $500,000 cash only bond. Authorities took Shelby Ann Dasher into custody early Wednesday morning. The body of 13 month old Tyler Dasher was found near a St. Louis County cemetery.

Tyler Dasher was found dead near the River Des Peres on Tuesday afternoon. The body was found by people walking their dog in the woods a few feet from the walking path that runs along River Des Peres on the St. Louis County side of the river.

The body was then taken to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office where it was positively identified. The death of Tyler Dasher is being called an apparent homicide.

Dasher says she put Tyler to bed Monday night and then overslept Tuesday morning. When she went to check on the boy just before noon he was gone.

Tyler lived with his mother and grandmother at a home in the 7700 block of Clevedon in Affton, MO, not far from the River Des Peres north of Gravois.

St. Louis County Police spokesman Rick Eckhard said there did not appear to be any sign of forced entry to the home, but police were checking all door locks.

A witness told police they saw someone carrying a baby just a couple of hours before Tyler’s body was found. The person was near an elementary school and was carrying the child and a blue blanket.

Police have questioned several individuals and family members on Tuesday and made an arrest Wednesday morning.

Authorities do no think anyone else is involved in the crime and at this point they don`t believe the grandmother was at home at the time of the murder.

A makeshift memorial grew on Tuesday in the area where the body of Tyler Dasher was found on Monday.

Family, friends and strangers huddled with candles and paused for a moment of silence.

'We need to remember all of the children who have lost their lives due to abuse,' said Chelsea Lancaster, a former friend of Shelby Dasher, the mother now charged with the murder of her own son.

'He should be an example of something that never should have happened,' Lancaster said.

Holly Barton is friends with Shelby Dasher and was heartbroken to learn the friend she trusted is now charged with murder.

'We are all so let down,' said Barton. 'We had faith until the end.'

'We need to remember all of the children who have lost their lives due to abuse,' said Lancaster.

Friends hoped the vigil would show everyone that life is valued in their community. They hope any mother contemplating violence against their child will think again when they think about Tyler Dasher.