Relative refused to perform CPR on 'cold' 5-year-old despite 911 dispatcher's offer to walk them through it
Law enforcement officials in Indiana are puzzled as they investigate the deaths of a woman and child found in a Highland area residence on Wednesday evening. Emergency services responded to a house at 302 Bob Court after a 911 call that gave an inkling about what investigators found at the scene, the Courier & Press reports.
The outlet obtained a recording of the call through the Indiana Access to Public Records Act.
Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear identified the victims as 49-year-old Kimbra Shanafelt and her daughter, 5-year-old Dahni Shanafelt, in a statement Thursday evening after conducting an autopsy.
However, the cause and manner of death are yet to be determined.
"I think something bad's happened," a concerned relative told the 911 dispatcher.
According to the relative, who cannot be named for legal reasons, they went to the house to check on Kimbra after she had not answered her phone for a couple of days. They had a key to gain access to the residence. During the call, the relative told the dispatcher they had located little Dahni laying halfway under a bed, and that it looked like "she's thrown up or something, and she's cold, and her eyes are halfway up in her head."
"I need some help fast," the relative urged.
But despite telling an AMR dispatcher multiple times that Dahni was cold, the relative refused to be walked through performing CPR on the girl.
Sheriff Dave Wedding of Vanderburgh County originally told reporters that Kimbra Shanafelt had sustained "obvious trauma" to her face and body when her body was recovered from the garage of their duplex in the 300 block of Bob Court Drive. A short time later, her daughter was found in an upstairs bedroom.
However, Wedding said Thursday night that the autopsy was unable to find any evidence of trauma.
"Right now, we just don’t know what happened," he said. "We don’t have strong evidence that somebody from the outside came in and did harm to them, but we haven’t ruled that out."
Furthermore, investigators found no apparent signs of a struggle in the garage or the home. The 911 call by the aforementioned relative was the only call to that address since Kimbra moved there about five months ago.
Wedding has now said that a lot of pieces are still missing from the puzzle, adding that they are awaiting results of a toxicology testing, which are expected to come in about three weeks.
"We’re not finished investigating," Wedding said. "We hope that when we investigate more, we’ll figure it out.”
49-year-old Kimbra Shanafelt was described by those who knew her as a hardworking single mother who wholeheartedly loved her family and her job as an optical technician. They also recalled how she had a great sense of humor.
"She had kind of a quirky, off-center sense of humor. She was really compassionate," said Dana Markee, her sister. "She was kind of the artsy type. She loved handmade jewelry and music. She liked corny jokes. She loved her kids.
Markee also spoke about her niece, little Dahni Shanafelt.
“She was very loving, she loved everybody, and she would tell you, and she would hug you and if she was here by now, she would have hugged you by now," she told 14 News.
Markee remembered how kind her five-year-old niece was, and how she had lovingly made 40 Easter cards for a nursing home just a couple of weeks ago.
“She drew a picture in every one of those cards, signed her name on them," Markee said.
“One lady wrote her a little letter back," she added. “In fact, just sent it yesterday, and Dahni’s not here to get it.”