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.