Utah Woman Accused of Smothering Stepdaughter After Planning Attack Days in Advance

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A Utah woman has allegedly confessed to planning and then smothering to death her three-year-old stepdaughter.

McKenley Jordan Yadon, 24, was charged Friday with first-degree aggravated murder and second-degree child abuse in the March 2019 death of Arianna Rose Stout.

The case came to police attention on March 14 when Vernal City police officers responded to a medical assist call of a choking child. When officers arrived at the Vernal home, the child was “unresponsive, not breathing, and cold to the touch” and had “dark purple and black bruising in front, on top, inside and around her left ear,” according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by PEOPLE.

The girl was taken to Ashley Regional Medical Center where she died an hour later.

A medical examiner concluded on May 23 that the girl died of asphyxia due to smothering.

“It is clearly a tragic situation,” Assistant Chief of Police Keith Campbell tells PEOPLE.

According to the affidavit, police arrested Yadon after the autopsy results and she allegedly admitted that she smothered the girl with a blanket in her bed and that she had been planning her death for days.

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“McKenley stated she had been planning and thinking about doing this act for two or three days prior to March 14, 2019,” the affidavit reads.

McKenley allegedly gave detectives a “detailed account” of how she allegedly smothered the child and the child’s “body movements and struggle during this event as she maintained consistent force over airway,” according to the affidavit.

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She allegedly told detectives that she “maintained this force” for four to five minutes and then once the child was dead she waited 10 to 15 minutes before she called a friend “who she provided an inaccurate account of events, thus resulting in the initial 911 call,” according to the affidavit.

Arianna Stout spent every other weekend with her grandmother, Christina Cook.

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“She was just the most beautiful little redhead angel that was born,” Arianna’s grandmother Christina Cook told FOX13. “This is just something I wouldn’t wish on anybody, not even my worst enemy. It’s just unbearable. It really is. It’s unbearable.”

Yadon was booked into Uintah County Jail where she remains on no bail.

It is unclear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

A hearing is scheduled for June 3.



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