Karlie Renee Mellick
- June 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

June 11, 2009 brought the death of a beautiful little baby girl named Karlie Renee Mellick. Only days before her death, Karlie's mother, Kara Mellick, four workers at a day care and one doctor noticed that Karlie had bruises
on her body, including her face and her ear, however, none of these people found it necessary to report what they found. The bruises on this Angels body should have been a red flag for ALL of these people, a warning that she had been abused.

Matthew Vaughn, who was 21 years old at the time and Kara's boyfriend, was baby sitting Karlie on June 7 while Kara went to work leaving at about 8:30 a.m.. Some time during the day, Matthew sent an e-mail to Kara and claimed that every time he would walk out of the room, Karlie would start to cry because she was unable to see him. Kara apologized and asked him to be patient with the baby. At about 3:30 that same afternoon, Matthew called Kara and said she should come home because Karlie was unconscious. Kara got home in time to ride to
the hospital with Karlie.

Karlie died four days later after suffering severe injuries to her head, a broken arm, a broken leg and some
of her ribs were fractured. According to police reports, Matthew said he became frustrated and shook little Karlie and beat her head on the floor. Dr. Melissa Currie, a Forensic Pediatric expert, said that this violent death might have been prevented if any of the people involved had recognized the bruises as a sign of abuse and reported
them.

The bruises on Karlie were signs, according to the experts, especially the bruises on her ear which they said is mostly cartilage and very rarely will bruise. A bruise on the ear would take a forceful blow, in order to appear:

"Medical studies have shown that a child with a bruise on the ear is at higher risk of becoming
a fatality. The force that it takes to cause a bruise to the ear can also cause damage to a
child's brain"

Debbie Acker - Nurse

Dr. Melissa Currie, a University of Louisville forensic pediatric expert, evaluated Karlie's case for the police. In
a letter that was placed in Matthew's case file she said:

?It is unfortunate that her previous bruising did not result in a CPS (state Child Protective
Service) report and a complete medical evaluation for abuse. To be clear, it is
 not normal
for infants to have bruises"

Kara told police that she had noticed the bruising on May 24 when Karlie was taken to the doctor for an ear
infection. The doctor thought the bruising might be a circulation issue and Karlie was given antibiotics. Four
day care providers who took care of Karlie also noticed the bruises over the next two weeks and made her mother aware of them. One worker had started to document the bruises noticing they had become worse and
she felt they were no longer "normal" bruising. Kara told the workers she was going to take Karlie to the doctor
and try to find out about the bruises and why she was getting so many of them. Karlie had bruising on her ear,
jaw, arms, side and her hip and Kara had thoughts that she might be getting them at the day care center.

"This 9 month old was obviously innocent in every way, was place in a position that obviously
could not
defend herself. I think that just makes it a little more difficult. The injuries received
from him actually come
from what he described as shaking the baby and also slamming her,
throwing the baby down on the ground. He was somewhat frustrated with watching the bay
and the fact that it was crying"

Lt. Barry Wilkerson



Matthew had baby sat in the past and the police were going to investigate if she had been abused before.
Matthew was being held on assault charges until Karlie died and the charge was upgraded to murder. However,
a plea deal allowed the charge to be manslaughter and he was sentenced to ONLY 17 years in prison for beating
this beautiful little Angel to death.


Karlie Renee Mellick





MELLICK, KARLIE RENEE, infant, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2009 at Kosair Children's Hospital.

She was preceded in death by her great-granny, Marva Salls. She is survived by her mother, Kara Renee Mellick; grandparents, Allison and Buck and Marvin; great grandparents, Bill Mellick Sr., Marvin "Bill" and Bertha Stone, and Keith Salls; uncle, Brad (Stephanie); aunts, Brittany and Chelsea; and her cousin, Kaden.

Visitation will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, June 15, 2009 at Owen Funeral Home, 5317 Dixie Highway.

Funeral and burial will be private. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.

Return To Karlie's Story
Read About Kara's Unselfish Sacrifice

Death Occurred in the state of Kentucky

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