AFFTON, MO (KTVI)-The story captivated St. Louis in November 2011. A toddler reportedly vanished from his crib in south St. Louis County. Hours later, detectives found 13-month-old Tyler Dasher dead.
We reviewed hours of heartbreaking interviews with mother, Shelby Dasher, who took police through a series of frightening twists.
Dasher repeatedly said she didn’t know how her child could’ve disappeared.
"I swear on everything I love, I did not hurt my child!”
St. Louis County Sgt. John Wall was interviewing Dasher at the time. He was the one who walked Dasher to a police car, as Dasher smiled and laughed.
Sgt. Wall told us he remembered it vividly and said, “Honestly what was going through my mind was, I was thinking that it was easy to get her away from her house.”
Wall said Dasher was not an immediate suspect. He said the police net was huge, with more than 100 officers working leads on the ground and in the air. He added, “There’s just so many possibilities.”
Dasher continued for hours. “He's just a wonderful baby,” she said about her little Tyler.
During the interrogation, she told police, 'It boggles my mind to think I didn`t hear anything when someone walked past my door.'
I asked Sgt. Wall, “When did you know that it had to be her.'”
Wall responded, “When she said it was her.”
(Hayes) “Not until then?
“Wall, “Not until then.”
After hours of interviews, Detectives told Dasher, “We found Tyler.”
Dasher sounded surprised, “Really when?” (Detectives) “A long time ago.” (Dasher) “Where was he?” (Detectives) “In some woods. He’s dead.”
Sgt. Wall described what happened next. He described it as ‘a light bulb moment.’
“She throws her hands, her face in her hands really. Give her a minute and then we say ‘Shelby we need to talk,’ and immediately (she) was oh, ok.”
On the video a Detective told Dasher, “You owe it to Tyler. You owe it to everyone. You owe it to yourself to give an explanation because we know it`s there.”
Then Dasher went on to describe what she perceived to be a dream when Detectives said 'You got to tell us.'
(Dasher) “The only thing that I have had flashes of is a white blanket. That`s it. It looks like a little cocoon thing... The think I can remember is walking.”
(Detectives) Where's Tyler?
(Dasher) With me.
(Detectives) Where did you set him?
(Dasher) On the ground... on his back.
(Detectives) Then what?
(Dasher) Everything's black.
(Detectives) When you placed him there, what did he look like?
(Dasher) ...just see his face. He was looking at me. ..still see his face. Then everything goes black.
Then this admission. Dasher told interrogators, “When I left the house he was barely like alive, he was just like laying there.”
Sgt. Wall said, “It was shocking... It goes back to her immaturity and her narcissism.”
During the interrogation an officer asked her, “Did the thought ever cross your mind to call for an ambulance?”
Dasher answered, “I was just afraid.”
Tyler, dumped while still alive. Then Mom worried out loud about her future. She said, “I just don’t want this to mess up school.”
Dasher slowly opened up about how Tyler woke her up and she couldn`t stop his crying. She told police, “I got frustrated and he got hit.”
Sgt. Wall described her answers by saying Dasher was “starting to work down the road of an admission not a confession, because nobody wants to come out and say, yes I brutally beat my child to death.”
He added, “She wants to minimize her involvement. She didn`t want to look as evil and brutal as it was determined that the crime was.”
The medical examiner found massive brain bleeding inside Tyler and his right optic nerve hemorrhaged.
Dasher pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder. A judge sentenced her to 25 years. Dasher’s boyfriend, Edgar Rivas, pleaded guilty to hiding Tyler's body. It’s a class D felony, in which a judge sentenced him to three years.
Sgt. Wall said he got through this tough case in a few ways. First he said he focused on the goal - solve Tyler`s death. Two, he remembered how it`s his mission to put himself out of business, as he puts it. He hopes others might learn from these cases and get help.
- St. Louis Crisis Nursery
(314) 768-3201, (314) 533-6900, (314) 292-5770
Temporary safe haven for children of families experiencing a crisis. Provide residential care for children birth through age 10 on a short-term basis
- Our Lady’s Inn
Our Lady`s Inn has provides shelter for pregnant women 18+ years old and their children.
4223 S. Compton ● St. Louis, 63111 ● (314) 351-4590
3607 Highway D ● Defiance, MO 63341 ● (636) 398-5375
- Family Resource Center
3309 South Kingshighway Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63139
Provides therapeutic and support services to nearly 10,000 children and parents each year in St. Louis City and County. We help children and families in which some form of child abuse or neglect has occurred as well as those who are at risk of abuse in their homes.
More resources available for families in crisis:
This may not include every resource available in the St. Louis area. If you know of other resources for families in crisis, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to the list.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV