Seth Kehoe
October 10, 2006 - October 26, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial

Gene Kehoe was concerned about his family when they disappeared from a drive to visit her mother in a nursing home in another town, so he called the police. What was found would shock the community. Michelle Kehoe, who was 35 years old, had gone to a home to get help, she and her seven year old son, Sean, had been injured and both required surgery. Another son, Seth, who was two years old, would die from similar injuries.

Michelle would not admit to what she did, right away. A story was told about how she had stopped in at about 12:3 0p.m. at a park to allow her boys to play. Michelle said a man climbed into her van and was hidden until when she drove away from the playground, his head appeared in the mirror. A can of pepper sprayed proved to be of no use when the man was able to kick it away from her and bang her head against the van so hard that it knocked her unconscious. Michelle told police that the man was in his 50's with a beard and long gray hair with a stocking cap and that there were two scars on his face and that he would have bruises on his shins from their struggle. Michelle said that the man used duct tape to bind her legs and hands. and that when she came to, she found her boys injured and while Seth's lips were blue, Sean was still breathing and she tried to give him first aid. At that point, the man came back and cut her throat causing her to black out. The next day, Michelle was able to make it to the home of Debra Hinde and call 911. This entire scenario would turn out to be a lie.

In September of 2008, Michelle had walked into a store, walked to the sporting good section and bough a Winchester hunting knife, which is said to have had a razor sharp blade on it, in that same month, she bought some duct tape from another store. In October of 2008, Michelle told her husband she was taking her children to visit their grandmother in a nursing home and she headed out in the family van. Michelle drove down a secluded road and that plan she had to murder her two children was about to become real.

Michelle finally admitted to police that she had killed Seth and tried to kill Sean at the Hook-N-Liner pond which is located near Middleton, Iowa. Michelle also admitted to pre-planning the murders of her children though she really had no reason for doing it:

"I can't explain it. I can't face anyone. I want to be killed or locked up forever"

Michelle was unable to talk during police interviews, so her answer were written down:

"I want to die. I can't explain this to anyone. Just kill me"

Michelle explained that she had wanted to kill her boys and herself so she drove out to the pond and used duct tape to bind Sean and to cover his eyes and slit his throat then moved on to Seth and then five minutes later she slit her own throat:

"I knew they would go up to Heaven and I would go to hell"

Michelle then walked to the road, laid down and expected to die. Sean had moved himself into the van at that point. The next day they both showed up at the home of Debra and were taken to the hospital. Family members were at the hospital though Michelle said she didn't want to see anyone because they knew that she was not okay. It would come out that Michelle had suffered from severe depression for over 12 years before she killed her son Seth and tried to kill Sean.

In court, a Psychiatrist who had met with Michelle said that her thinking was distorted by depression and she did not have the ability to know right from wrong and her supported an insanity defense. Dr William Logan was a witness for the defense and he stated that Michelle had been through a lot of childhood trauma due to her parents being alcoholics, separating when she was four and her father dying when she was six years old. Michelle had supposedly been raped by her stepfather, her stepfathers nephew and a neighbor, later in life. When Michelle made her mother aware of what had happened, she was sent away to live with an Aunt where seemed to be doing well, at first.

In the Fall of 1996, Michelle became depressed and began to take antidepressants, they worked on her for only about a year and then Michelle attempted suicide in March of 1998. In February of 1999, Michelle rented a hotel room and once again, tried to kill herself. Michelle would try to kill herself at least six times over the years and was hospitalized each time and the treatment included at least 44 electroshock treatments.

Michelle would eventually meet and marry, Gene Kehoe and the two would have to two beautiful baby boys, even though Michelle would have more than one miscarriage during that time. In 2007, witnesses saw Michelle's car skid off of the road into the rive and they were rescued and that started Michelle's post traumatic stress disorder. In 2008, Gene lost his job and this caused Michelle to become worse. Michelle would later admit that the car going into the river had been an attempt at suicide.

Starting in July of 2008, Michelle began to have thoughts of suicide thinking it was the only way to make things better, though she never told anyone about those thoughts. At that same time, Michelle began to think that her
children would be better off if they were dead as well because she thought they might become depressed like her, over time. Michelle began to plot their deaths and hers, two months before she drove the to the lake.

In December of 2009, Michelle Lynn Kehoe was sentenced to life without parole for what she did to her son, Seth. Michelle received an additional sentence of 25 years stemming from the charge of attempted murder of her son Sean. The jury had previously not accepted her defense of insanity and found her guilty of first degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment. Though Gene was against it, Judge Bruce Zager extended a no contact order that was in place to keep Michelle from having any contact with Sean at all. Gene was not to allow any contact, including written contact, between Michelle and Sean for at least five years.

Obituary - Seth Kehoe

Born: October 10, 2006
Died: October 27, 2008

Services:Funeral Mass for Seth Kehoe, 2, of Coralville will be celebrated at 10:00 am, Saturday, November 1, 2008 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City.

Visitation:Friday, October 31st, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 618. E. Davenport Street in Iowa City.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Sean Kehoe Education Fund in memory of Seth Kehoe. 

Seth was born October 10, 2006 in Iowa City, the son of Gene and Michelle Peters Kehoe.

Seth?s favorite things were Elmo or as he called him, Nelmo, his blankie and pacifier, and firetrucks. He loved playing with his brother.

Seth is survived by his parents and brother, Sean; grandmothers, Guenn Kehoe of Iowa City and Marilyn McMillen of Sumner; great grandmother, Marie Peters of Denver, Iowa; aunts and uncles, Theresa Kehoe (Bobby Bailey), Ginny (Paul) Kehoe-Buzas, Donna (Bob) Shank, John (Kim) Kehoe, Kathy (Mark) Collins, Colleen Kehoe and Stanley Lee Meyers, Michelle's aunt and uncle Rick and Carol Smith, of Decorah, IA, who helped raise her, and their children, and numerous cousins and extended family.

Seth was preceded in death by his grandfathers.

Death Occurred in the state of Iowa

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