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Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced After Stuffing Baby Wipes Down 3-Year-Old Boy’s Throat, Killing Him

Penn. Woman Pleaded Guilty to Killing Boyfriend's 3-Year-Old Child
Source: Bedford County Jail; Akers Funeral Home

A neighbor heard Chelsea Cooley (left) scream 'shut up' around the same time cops said the child sustained his injuries.

Apr. 13 2024, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty to killing her boyfriend’s 3-year-old son, who was found with baby wipes lodged in his throat in 2022, and now a judge sentenced her to 80 years in prison.

On May 28, 2022, the boy, later identified as Travis Young Jr., was found unresponsive at the home of 33-year-old Chelsea Cooley in Bedford County, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

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Young, who was Cooley’s boyfriend’s child, was hospitalized and died a day later.

According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, an adult strangled and asphyxiated the boy, based on the location of the wipes and other injuries on his body.

Officials said Cooley was the sole adult caregiver at home when the boy sustained the injuries.

Investigators determined Cooley was home with the boy and other children at the time of the crime. Young’s father was working a 12-hour shift and told police the child was normal and healthy when he left for work.

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Police talked with a neighbor, who said they heard screaming and a female voice yelling, “shut up,” around the time investigators determined the child sustained the injuries.

Cooley also delayed calling 911 for help. She showed police a photo of Young laying down, with obvious injuries and unresponsive at 8:41 p.m. However, she did not call 911 until 9:07 p.m., and she was hesitant to help the child as dispatchers were giving her instructions.

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On April 8, 2024, Cooley pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, strangulation and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said. A judge then sentenced her to 40 to 80 years in prison.

“The facts of this case are horrific,” Attorney General Michelle Henry said. “This defendant was responsible for caring for this child, and instead she did the unthinkable. She brutally murdered him, a defenseless and innocent three-year-old child. This defendant’s actions are devastating to the child’s loved ones, but we hope today’s admission and sentence offer a measure of justice.”


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