MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 11, 2013

Foster mom held in death of child

Girl, 2, had bruises, internal injuries when she died

WOODALL — A 47-year-old foster mother was ordered held without bond Wednesday on a complaint of first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl.

Delila A. Pacheco was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.

Pacheco is accused of killing 2-year-old Alysa Horney on Sunday morning.

“From what we have gathered, (the child) was in foster placement with a family member,” Chennault said. “We got a call Sunday morning, somewhere around 10 or 11. Deputies went out to the Woodall home with EMS and found the little girl had passed away.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. Casey Baker was sent to investigate and later requested assistance from child welfare investigators.

“They did interviews and looked at the little girl,” Chennault said. “She had some bruising but nothing major from what they could see.”

Officials from the Oklahoma Office of the Medical Examiner contacted investigators Monday after discovering Alysa had suffered internal injuries, along with “quite a bit of bruising externally that we couldn’t see, like under her hair and such,” Chennault said.

Child welfare investigators later took three other children from the home into custody. When Pacheco showed up in court Tuesday for a custody hearing, she was held and questioned by sheriff’s investigators and agents of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, who are now assisting in the case, Chennault said.

“The interviews went on from about 11:30 to about 4:30, and we ended up arresting the foster mother,” said Chennault. “She was booked for first-degree murder. From what we gather, the little girl had trouble at bed time; apparently she didn’t like going to bed and would fight it, stay up talking to herself, and it looks like the foster mother may have just gotten sick of it.”

Pacheco went before a judge Wednesday morning for a probable cause hearing and was ordered held without bond.

“Our investigators, along with those from child welfare and the OSBI, have done a diligent job in this investigation,” Chennault said Tuesday night. “When you deal with the death of a child — well, we’re all parents, and it’s hitting everyone hard.”

Josh Newton reports for the Tahlequah Daily Press.

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