Sulphur mother speaks out on daughter’s death

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 10:15 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - “She was just a couple of inches away from me,” Stevie Eheler said in a 2015 audio confession to investigators.

That’s audio from a recording of Stevie Eheler being questioned by detectives after her 7-week-old infant was unresponsive in bed back in 2015.

“Am I going to get charged for killing my baby?” Eheler asked.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says investigators spent a year working on the case, not rushing to conclusions. Sheriff Tony Mancuso says they spent months obtaining phone records and blood samples before submitting the evidence to the District Attorney’s Office and then to a grand jury.

“Our job is to investigate deaths and make sure there is no foul play involved - in our opinion, there was,” Sheriff Mancuso said.

A grand jury indicted Eheler in 2016 on charges of negligent homicide and methamphetamine possession.

“Stevie: She had meth and I did a line of it. Detective: How long ago was that? Stevie: two days,” Eheler admitted.

“An accident is one thing, and people have accidents, people have tragedies. For instance, a layover - that’s what the coroner ruled this child’s death as,” Sheriff Mancuso said. “Under normal circumstances, it would just be listed as an accident. Take toxicology samples from the mother and you find drugs or alcohol in their system - that’s negligence.”

“I was open about that from the beginning,” Eheler said. “I told them that I did take something to keep me awake at night so I could have my eyes on her 24/7. That doesn’t make it right. I totally regret that now.”

Eheler, accused of rolling onto her child as they slept, plead guilty of negligent homicide in her daughter’s death. She was sentenced to two months in jail with credit for time served.

“The only reason that I plead guilty to that is because I had been sitting in jail for so long,” Eheler said.

She says 6 years ago, she didn’t kill the little girl. That’s been killing her ever since. She now blames a local hospital for what happened.

“They told me she had a small blood clot in her brain,” Eheler said. “They would have to keep her overnight. Then when the neurologist came, he said they made a mistake and there was no blood clot.”

The coroner’s report concludes the infant “probably died as a result of overlaying.” Additional underlying causes include an improper sleeping environment.

“And the death certificate says something probable - like probable something,” Eheler said. “That’s not a definitive - this is what happened.”

We asked why Eheler is speaking six years after her daughter’s death. She says while she doesn’t claim to be completely innocent, she wants her side of the story heard - hoping one day she can forgive herself.

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