New details have emerged following the death of an Evansville infant last week and the arrest of the child’s parents.
Three-month-old Kieran Bengert was pronounced dead on January 9th. According to Vanderburgh County Coroner’s office, the child suffered massive multiple blunt force trauma prior to the death and it was ruled as a homicide.
According to an Evansville Police affidavit, the child’s father, 28-year-old Jacob Bengert, is charged the murder of the infant. The child’s mother, 32-year-old Chelsea Marksberry is charged with Child Neglect resulting in Death.
The affidavit said that on the night of January 8th, Bengert was watching the child when Marksberry left the home for work. When she came back, she saw that the child was swaddled up in the bouncer next to the bed with a bottle in his mouth. She left the home again and returned to the child in the same place as she left him. She thought he was asleep and slept opposite side of the bed from Bengert and the child.
When she woke up the next morning and reached across to check on the child, Bengert grabbed her, hugged her, and kept saying he was “sorry.” He told Marksberry that while she was out, the child fell off the bed. He tried to give him CPR. Marksberry saw that the infant’s face was dark and said his name. Bengert said that if she called 911, he would go to jail. Marksberry then called 911. Bengert left the home before they arrived.
Emergency crews, including the Coroner’s office, arrived at the home. They uncovered the child from the blanket and observed severe facial injuries, burn marks on his face and chest, and cigarette burns marks on feet and hands.
Marksberry was taken in for questioning by EPD. According to the affidavit, she admitted to using Heroin two days prior while watching her son and another child. She also told police that Bengert had been using heroin and taking pills over the last month. Marksberry was arrested for neglect. She remains in Vanderburgh County Jail on $20,000 cash bond. She will have an initial hearing on January 15th.
Bengert was located on January 10th near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Morgan Ave following a manhunt throughout Evansville. He was arrested and remains in Vanderburgh County Jail on no bond awaiting his first court hearing.
A candlelight vigil will be held for the infant Monday at 6 p.m. in front of her home the 1300 block of East Illinois Street.