INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST IN 18 MONTH OLDS DEATH IN OSKALOOSA,IOWA

Alicia Ritenour

Alicia Ritenour

An Oskaloosa Police and DCI Press Release

Oskaloosa, IOWA — The Oskaloosa Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announce an arrest in the death investigation regarding an 18 month old girl in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Today, investigators with the Oskaloosa PD and the Iowa DCI arrested Alicia Marie Ritenour, age 20. Ritenour is the mother of Ava Ritenour, 18 months old.

Alicia Ritenour has been charged with Murder in the First Degree, a class “A” felony and Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, a class “B” felony. Ritenour is being held in the Mahaska County Jail. Ritenour’s bond has been set at $25,000 for the “B” felony and no bond for the class “A” felony.

On Friday, January 24, 2014, at approximately 2:11pm, the Oskaloosa PD received a 911 call from Apartment 224 at the Southern Hills Apartment Complex located at 18th Avenue East in Oskaloosa. Upon arriving at the scene Officers found Ava Ritenour,18 months old, deceased.

An autopsy was performed at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner on the body of Ava Ritneour on January 25 and 26, 2014 by Dr. Michele Catellier, who determined the cause of death to be trauma to the head. The manner of death will be classified as a homicide.

The investigation by the Oskaloosa PD, Division of Criminal Investigation, Mahaska County Attorney’s office and the Iowa Attorney General’s office is ongoing.

From the affidavit filed in the case:

The DEFENDANT is accused of Murder in the First Degree, a class “A” felony, in violation of Sections 707.1 and 707.2(5) of the Iowa Criminal Code in that the defendant on or about the 24th day of January, 2014, in the city of Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa, did: kill a child while committing child endangerment or while assaulting said child, manifested extreme indifference to human life.

Going on the affidavit states:

The DEFENDANT is accused of Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, a class “B” felony, in violation of Section 726.6(4) of the Iowa Criminal Code in that the defendant on or about the 24th day of January, 2014, in the city of Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa did: By an intentional act, or series of intentional acts, uses unreasonable force, torture or cruelty that results in the bodily injury, or is intended to cause serious bodily injury, resulting in the death of a child or minor.

On or about the 24th day of January, 2014, law enforcement was called to Southern Hills Apartments in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. Upon arrival, Ava Marie Ritenour (DOB 8/1/2012), was found deceased in the apartment that the defendant and infant resided in. A witness has stated that he heard a loud thump during the middle of the previous night coming from the room where the infant sleeps, while the mother was alone in the room with the infant. The infant had suffered from severe head trauma, and died from said trauma. The body of the infant was found shortly after 2:00 p.m. on the 24th day of January, 2014. The infant had been deceased for a significant period of time when found by law enforcement.

A criminal charge is merely a criminal charge and not an indication of guilt. All suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

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