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ISP: Woman charged with murder in death of 2-year-old

Sarah Bierly is charged with murder in connection to the death of two-year-old Misty Ann McDowell.

PEKIN, Ind — Indiana State Police (ISP) arrested 30-year-old Sarah Bierly in connection to the death of two-year-old Misty Ann McDowell Wednesday.

Police said around Midnight Sept. 14, the Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to a Poplar Street address in Pekin after receiving a 911 call reporting an unresponsive child. EMS transported the child to a hospital in Salem where she later died. 

As part of the investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for the residence as and spoke with Bierly, the live-in-girlfriend of the child's father, as well as other family members at the scene.

The investigation continued at the Washington County Jail, where police later arrested Bierly for Neglect of a Dependent Causing Death, a Level 1 Felony.

An autopsy of McDowell was conducted later Tuesday and the official cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries. Ruling the death as a homicide.

Bierly is now charged with murder and aggravated battery resulting in death in addition to the original neglect charge.

In regard to the case, Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin provided the following statement: "This case will require our best. Thankfully, our office has the experience, training, and determination necessary to meet this moment. We will see that justice is served in this case."

She is being held at the Washington County Jail.

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