2007 - March 28, 2009
A Grave Memorial
On March 28, 2009, Christy
Shaffer did what many people do every day, she drove to McDonald's and
ordered food at the drive through
window. Nothing wrong with that, except that in
the back seat of her car, strapped into a car seat was a 15 month old
child, a beautiful little girl, who Christy had
beaten, who was now dying and Christy would do NOTHING to help her until she
returned home later that night. I don't know why, after all of the
years I have been telling these heartbreaking stories on my site, it
still shocks me to know that people can hurt a child and then refuse to
get them help, but it does.
Alissa Beth Guernsey was
a happy, healthy baby girl, with blonde
hair, brown eyes a beautiful smile. People who know her, say she hardly
ever cried. In December of 2008, Alissa's
father had died in a car accident and Alissa, along with her siblings,
was placed in the care of her mother's cousin,
Christy Shaffer. In early January of 2009, Alissa began to show signs
of abuse in the form of unexplained hair loss and
bruising, four months after being placed into the care of this woman,
Alissa was dead and the coroner ruled the cause
of death as blunt force trauma to her tiny head.
In the short time she
was with Christy, Alissa had been to the doctor
at least 15 times. At first, Alissa's Pediatrician thought there might
some kind of a medical reason for the condition
she was in during these visits. Alissa had an injury to her arm and
it was reported to the doctor that she had
fell while playing with the family pet. At that time, the doctor
bruises on her face and decided to do some tests
for Leukemia. Then on March 3, 2009, he would call the
Department Of Child Services after his tests didn't show
anything that could be medically causing her hair to fall out or the
bruises that she had. During this time, Christy
did not allow Alissa's mother to see her at all. In a picture of Alissa
during the time she was with Christy, bruises
can be seen.
On March 5, 2009, Alissa was
taken to Riley Hospital For Children in
Indianapolis. A doctor there found no medical explanation for Alissa's
injuries and decided that she must be banging
her head against her crib while she slept.
returning home on March 28, 2009, Christy decided it was finally time
to call 911 and the emergency response team worked for 45 minutes
to try to save the life of Alissa. At 9:54 p.m., they realized it was
use and Alissa was pronounced dead. Alissa was found to have many
bruises on her head as well as over her body. Inside Alissa's mouth was
an open wound about 1 inch in size, in the process of healing. It was
later determined that Alissa's hair had been pulled out of her head and
had not just been falling out on its own.
NOTE: I was informed by a
woman named Krystal that before calling 911, Christy called her
who was an EMT. Christy didn't want to get law enforcement involved if
she didn't need to so the two tried to revive Alissa, when they were
unsuccessful, that's when 911 was called.
indictment was before the La Grange County Grand Jury. The prosecutor,
presented two criminal charges for the jury to consider.
First was a Class B Felony charge, neglect of a dependent
died a painful death. Blunt force trauma to the head that's
lot of painful blows.
and second was a Class C Felony charge of neglect of a
dependent. How could this man be so blind to what had
happened to this little Angel? NEVER
on the table was any charge
even closely related to murder, which was the
real cause of the death of Alissa. The autopsy done on
Alissa had shown that in addition to the beating she had
received in the back of the car that day, Alissa had old
injuries that included broken bones and her brain had lesions
of trauma and though Alissa had been prescribed
medication for pain, NONE of
the medication was present in
toxicology reports. Do we even need to ask where it went?
Christy plead guilty to the charge of neglect of a
dependent, in February of 2011. On May 25, Christy was given a
sentence of ten years for what she did, though six of those years were
suspended for God only knows
what reason. If Christy behaved herself in prison, she
would only have to serve six years, they call that little loop hole,
good behavior. SHOCKINGLY,
on August 11, 2011, after serving only 77 short days in prison, Christy
released from prison and is a free woman. Tyler Sprunger,
Alissa's Uncle, had a Facebook page called "77 Days
For Murder" and organized a protest for what happened:
not fair for a 15 month old baby to go out
like that. The defendant in this case was
never tried for murder was basically given a slap on the wrist"
Tyler Sprunger - Alissa's Uncle
"This woman should not
be home with her kids. She should be paying for her crime that she
There are drug offenders in this town getting way more than this woman
Bobbie Tuttle - Resident
"I have two kids and if anything like this had happened to one of my
kids, I would want
everybody to come together to help me"
Kimberly Shephard - Resident
"I am here because I think the decision for her early release is
There was not justice
for this little baby"
Denylle Lumbard - Resident
Christy had this to say:
I acknowledge the opinion of an expert witness who determined
as the result of blunt-force trauma, I disagree
with expert's opinion. Even
though I am not
personally responsible for nor did I participate in
causing any injuries to Alissa Guernsey, I realize
that I am legally
responsible for providing timely medical treatment while she was
friends, family and strangers say that until Justice is served for
Alissa, they will protest, every
years that she
would have had to serve, that she would have had
in the first place
Friday at the Lagrange County Courthouse:
justice. Alissa can never be brought
back but people deserve to know that a
happened and until
people know that, I will not stop"
Alissa B. Guernsey
GUERNSEY, 1 year old daughter of Michael Guernsey and Kelli Sprunger of
away Saturday, March 28, 2009. Arrangements by Weicht
Funeral Home, 207 N. West Street, Angola.
in Fort Wayne Newspapers on April 4, 2009
Ind. (AP) — The Indiana
Department of Child
settled its part of a lawsuit involving the death of a 16-month-old
girl in foster care.
lawyer for the girl's mother, Kelli
Sprunger, told the South
Bend Tribune that
the agency has agreed to pay her $150,000 for its alleged role in the
March 2009 death of her daughter, Alissa
is a settlement," DCS spokeswoman Stephanie
Associated Press on
Saturday. "We were just waiting for all the paperwork to be done ... I
think it's been signed by all the parties."
said in a statement that the settlement didn't assign fault, nor could
it reflect the value of a child's life.
toddler died from unexplained injuries in early 2009, a few months
after she was placed with Sprunger's cousin, Christy
Shaffer, by the DCS.
autopsy report said the child's medical history indicated previous
injuries. The autopsy also found bleeding inside the girl's skull, an
inch-long cut inside her mouth that was starting to heal and multiple
originally filed the lawsuit in LaGrange Circuit Court, but in June
2010, the case was moved to federal court in Fort Wayne. DCS was one of
several parties named in the complaint.
claimed she didn't know how Alissa received her injuries and denied
striking the toddler. Shaffer was convicted of neglect and sentenced to
four years in prison, but released after serving 77 days.
lawsuit claimed the DCS caseworker assigned to the case did not pay
enough attention to the frequency of the girl's injuries. The
caseworker no longer works for the agency.
Likes, who represents Sprunger, told the Tribune that he
a $150,000 mediated settlement with a government agency a victory.
said she plans to use the money to pay for surgery for another of her
daughters, who is disabled.
In November of 2013, Christy Shaffer, who
was 35 years old, possibly violated her probation and if it was proven
that she did, she would have to serve the remaining time of her
original ten year sentence. Christy was charged with possession
of Meth amphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance after her
probation officer was told about what was going on in her life, each
count is a felony.
Prosecutors stated that allegedly, two
men who had been arrested and charged earlier in that month with
felonies that were higher level related to dealing and possession, were
manufacturing Meth in Christy's garage. While searching the home of one
of the men, his cell phone rang and when the police officer answered it
was Christy who had called. Christy later admitted that she had flushed
drugs down the toilet after that call. A drug test confirmed that
Christy had Meth in her system. Christy's children were removed from
her home and LaGrange County Prosecutor,
Jeff Wible, said that the positive test for drugs was grounds for
revoking probation and while it was up to the probation department he
was sure that it would happen.
As of today's date, March 1, 2014, I am
unable to find any information about Christy's case. I do not know if
she ended up back in prison or not. I can only hope she did.
I have just learned that in April of 2014, Christy's
bond was revoked by Judge Wallace. Christy was sent back to prison to
serve the remainder of her sentence.
Death Occurred in the state of Indiana
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