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Father Speaks Out After Death of Ottumwa 5-Year-Old

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OTTUMWA, Iowa  --  An Ottumwa mother has been charged with first degree murder in the death of her five-year-old daughter.

"When I heard about it, I was shocked that it happened so close and to such a young person," said Ottumwa resident Amy Yareley.

Last week, police were called to a home in the 100 block of James Street on a report of an unresponsive child. Five-year-old Cloe Chandler was then taken to Ottumwa Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. On Thursday, her mother, 22-year-old Kelsie Thomas, confessed to police that she killed her daughter.

Cloe's biological father, Steven Chandler, is now left with questions.

"I just want to know the truth, that's all I am worried about at this point is knowing the truth," Chandler said.

An autopsy was performed on Cloe’s body on Monday, but police say the results are still pending. Cloe's cause of death has not yet been released. Police are still investigating the incident and executed search warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It's a lot more traumatic when you're dealing with cases that involve children because a lot of times they can't defend themselves and we're the only voice for the child," said Michael Motsinger, Special Agent in Charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Thomas is currently being held in the Wapello County Jail without bond.

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