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Allegations that mother killed baby in microwave oven horrify neighbors

June 22, 2011 |  7:31 am

 

Mirabelle Thao-Lo was found dead March 17 after officers were called to the home by paramedics, the Sacramento Police Department said.  Ka Yang, 29, was taken into custody at the home in the 800 block of Rood Avenue. She has been charged with homicide.

Yang had three other children -- all boys -- who neighbors said were taken into protective custody.

Desiree Caruthers, who lives near Yang, told Fox 40 News that she was horrified to hear how the child died.  She said Yang's house has been very quiet since the baby died.

Other neighbors said Yang kept to herself. "She never opened the door," Margarita Layva told the Sacramento Bee. "She never came out."

On Tuesday, officials said they were still trying to understand the events that led to what they described as a horrific crime.

After responding to the home, investigators concluded the baby's burns were not explainable and realized they had an uncommon case, police Sgt. Norm Leong said. He said detectives sought out forensic experts and other medical professionals for advice.

"This was definitely unique," he told The Times. "Detectives realized that they would have to look beyond what they normally do ... and found experts who said the injuries appeared to be from a microwave."

The "thermal injuries," police said, were consistent with those documented in cases from Dayton, Ohio; New Kent County, Va., and Galveston, Texas. Detectives researched those cases and awaited the findings of the Sacramento County coroner's office.

"Based on that research and the autopsy results," the department said in a statement, "detectives believe the injuries occurred as a result of the child being burned in a microwave oven."

"We don't know what motivated her to do the crime," Leong said. "We don't really know what led up to it."

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-- Robert J. Lopez and Shelby Grad


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