Updated: Suspects in 3-year-old’s death due in court

Father’s family likely to receive Kayleigh Slusher’s body
2014-02-03T13:28:00Z 2014-03-06T17:25:19Z Updated: Suspects in 3-year-old’s death due in courtKEVIN COURTNEY Napa Valley Register
February 03, 2014 1:28 pm  • 

The suspects in the death of 3-year-old Kayleigh Slusher are likely to make their first court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Napa Superior Court.

The child’s mother, Sara Krueger, and her boyfriend, Ryan Scott Warner, continued to be held at the Napa County jail Monday while Napa Police prepared to ask the Napa County District Attorney’s Office to file murder charges.

An arraignment is likely at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, assuming that Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein concludes there is probable cause to charge them, police said Monday afternoon.

While conducting a welfare check at her apartment, police said they found Kayleigh deceased in her bed early Saturday afternoon and observed signs of blunt force trauma and possible sexual assault.

Krueger, 23, and Warner, 26, had been spotted vacating the apartment several hours earlier. They were arrested Sunday afternoon at the El Cerrito del Norte BART station after a citizen reported spotting them at a nearby restaurant.

Kayleigh’s death and the subsequent search for Krueger and Warner — described at the time as persons of interest — caused considerable Bay Area media attention on Super Bowl Sunday, with Napa Police holding a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Lieberstein said Monday that his office was waiting for police to complete their investigation and submit the case for review.

An autopsy was conducted Monday afternoon on Kayleigh, with the coroner’s office likely to release the body to relatives on Tuesday, police said.

Because of a provision in the California Civil Code, it is likely that the body will be released to Kayleigh’s father’s relatives on the Slusher side of the family, Police Lt. Debbie Peecook said.

The code says that a parent accused of a crime resulting in a child’s death, as is the case with Kayleigh’s mother, loses parental rights to the body, Peecook said.

Kayleigh’s father, Jason Slusher, who is serving time at San Quentin Prison, is not connected to his daughter’s death, so his parents may get the body and the responsibility for funeral arrangements, she said.

Unaware of this situation, a friend of Kayleigh’s mother’s side of the family announced at mid-day Monday that she was setting up a memorial account to pay for Kayleigh’s funeral.

The situation became ambiguous late Monday, however, when a man who said he was connected to the father’s side of the family called the Register to say no financial help was being requested by the Slushers, who were going to be handling things on their own.

An earlier version of this story provided information regarding a memorial fund set up by Kayleigh's mother's side to provide a funeral for the 3-year-old. Because Kayleigh's father's family may be receiving her body and doesn't want financial assistance, information regarding that fund has been removed for the time being.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. Napa
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    Napa - February 03, 2014 4:45 pm
    Kayleigh is now n the loving protective arms of her savior Jesus Christ never to be hurt again.
  2. Flaneur
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    Flaneur - February 03, 2014 6:07 pm
    Kayleigh's brief life, which I hope was a very happy life, is a grievous reminder that not all children enjoy the protection, love, and nurturing that they deserve. As we grieve for Kayleigh, let us also grieve for all of those children in Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere, who are denied the most fundamental opportunity to live and grow. Some parents cannot protect their children, and some parents choose not to protect their children. It does take a village to raise a child, to protect a child. Fortunately most of us will never have to experience directly the grief of Kayleigh's grandparents, father, or other relatives, but if we could take some of their pain onto us we would. I wish them all peace and comfort.
  3. Napa Grandmother
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    Napa Grandmother - February 03, 2014 7:34 pm
    That is why he took her home. To be with him. That guy will get his do when he gets to prison. The guards will turn their back and he will get what he did to her. Her mother was a piece of work and should never be called mother again. She will get her do when the time is right.
  4. Napa
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    Napa - February 03, 2014 9:27 pm
    Well said "Napa Grandmother" You took the thoughts, feelings and words out of my mouth. God does and will deal with the unjustly and evil people who commit such horrendous crimes on his little ones. Thank you for completing my post. God hates those who prey on the innocent especially those who cannot defend themselves like little precious Kayleigh. This disturbs and upsets me to the fiber of by being. God is in control. He will prevail on all evil committed, especially in this incident.
  5. Oldtimenapan
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    Oldtimenapan - February 04, 2014 7:33 am
    Why didn't CPS and the judges do their job?
  6. Report Abuse
    - February 04, 2014 9:24 am
    "Kayleigh’s father, Jason Slusher, who is serving time at San Quentin Prison, is not connected to his daughter’s death, so his parents may get the body and the responsibility for funeral arrangements, she said."

    The correct language in this concern should be: "so his parents may receive the body". Or, "so his parents may receive the body of Kayleigh".
  7. valleygrl
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    valleygrl - February 04, 2014 9:30 am
    CPS is dismal at best. Solano County would have protected this child swiftly. It appears Napa County is good at collecting a pay check however.
  8. Hasavoice
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    Hasavoice - February 04, 2014 12:33 pm
    Whoever made that call to police the day they found her body may know something. I'm sure that will come out in court but I think it was not a coincidence. Poor little girl. She should have been protected by our system. Stronger rules/ guidelines need to be put in place so this never happens again.
  9. glenroy
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    glenroy - February 04, 2014 12:48 pm
    ....drug addicts don't make good parents...which is why so many of us who have seen the damage firsthand take a zero tolerance to even gate way drug use because more often than not it leads to a higher high.
    Have to feel for the families...can't imagine how they will deal with it....other than faith....children are to be protected not murdered.
    …It’s just horrible...for everyone.
  10. ConcernedCitizen14
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    ConcernedCitizen14 - February 04, 2014 4:08 pm
    The Fathers side will be making the arrangements to lay her to rest because the family of the perpetrator cannot. Begs the question why Sara's family would setup a fund for services they wont have to pay for?
  11. rpcv
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    rpcv - February 04, 2014 4:13 pm
    Thank you, Flaneur, for your thoughtful and sensitive response to a horrendous situation. We don't know any details or facts at this point, so we shouldn't be making judgments... only hoping that no other child, anywhere, ever has to endure what Kayleigh did.
  12. Concerned Napa
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    Concerned Napa - February 04, 2014 6:34 pm
    That's what a lot of people in Napa would like to know.
  13. ConcernedCitizen14
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    ConcernedCitizen14 - February 06, 2014 9:56 am
    You are correct, the people making the calls to police were concerned about Kayleigh for months. They knew somethign was wrong and called repeatedly.
  14. jojojackson
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    jojojackson - February 06, 2014 3:14 pm
    Channel 2 news said "They Juvenile dept. Judge made the decission to not let the records out to the public ,
    First question : why did a Juvenile Judge preside over this Napa high U.S. media profile crime ? was it to cover-up , CPS of Napa mistakes?
    As Channel 2 reports it : Bill Grimm of the National center for Youth Law, this case didn't need to be hidden from the public. This is why this law was implemented, to give all the facts to what happened and why.
    So simply, Gary Lieberstein a Question to the D.A. of Napa ……….WHY ?
  15. jojojackson
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    jojojackson - February 06, 2014 3:27 pm
    And why was Gary Lieberstein's name left off from the" TAGS" from the article when is name is written many times, as the Poccia case against the city of Napa Police dept. goes to trial soon the same topic comes up again about "procedure's" when dealing with Napa's Mental Health dept. and the CPS of Napa dealing with abuse of Children .
  16. Melissa turner402
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    Melissa turner402 - February 11, 2014 7:36 am
    This is a terrible thing to happen to such a little angel!!! It's a shame that this was not taken care of when police and CPS where called!!! I feel they ( CPS and Napa county Police) as well as the parents should be heals responsible and prosecuted for this!! It is neglect on both sides!!! I will be praying that justic be done to parents and Napa County!! I feel for the family!!! I lost a daughter due to a drunk driver hitting my car he only got 9 months in jail?? Where's the justice in that??? The man that did it lives in Napa too. Stay strong and never give up the fight for what is right
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