Poinsett County prosecutors are calling for the rearrest of a northeast Arkansas woman accused of killing her infant daughter, saying she failed a drug test while free on bond awaiting trial.
Tyra Renee Neal, 26, is charged with second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. The mother of four's 26-day-old daughter, the youngest child, was found dead in a clothes dryer in May 2018 at the family's Cash home by Neal's husband, the baby's father Cody McKellar. Neal was arrested that day.
Caseleigh Joe McKellar was reported to have had numerous second-degree burns over more than half her body, consistent with scalding.
Witnesses told investigators that Neal had earlier claimed that she could not find Caseleigh Joe, calling relatives and asking neighbors if they knew where the little girl was.
During a search of the home, before police were called, Neal told searchers to look in the dryer, court filings show.
Investigators cleared her husband but Neal kept changing her story about what had happened, suggesting her 2-year-old daughter might be responsible before suggesting that she might have burned the baby while trying to bathe her then put the infant in the dryer because she was scared.
Bail for Neal was set at $1 million, but after Neal had spent six months in jail, Circuit Judge John Fogleman reduced that to $200,000 after taking testimony at a November hearing. Neal subsequently made bond. Her release was conditioned on her having no contact with children age 14 or younger and on passing a monthly drug test; she had tested positive for methamphetamine when she was arrested.
Wednesday, prosecutors petitioned the judge to revoke her bond and issue an arrest order because Neal has stopped communicating with the monitors who are overseeing her release.
The petition states that Neal tested positive for meth at a March 28 court appearance and admitted in court she had used the drug. Neal passed a drug test the next month but missed a May 15 appointment for testing, explaining that she did not have a ride, and monitors have not heard from her since, according to the petition by deputy prosecutor Kevin Watts of Harrisburg.
Metro on 06/08/2019
Print Headline: Murder suspect's rearrest urged