Skyler Wayne Dunn
October 13, 2009 - May 27, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial

While doing research about Skyler Dunn, I leaned a few things about the state of Indiana and their view of murder. I love the fact that there are no "degrees" of murder, murder is murder and you pay a price for it. Autumn Dunn was about to find out about the law and was facing the death penalty after murdering her stepson, Skyler Dunn.

Skyler was found unconscious in his home on May 21, 2012. Skyler was treated, but died a week later. Autumn  told Doctors that Skyler had fallen earlier in the day and hit his head. At first, Autumn was charged with aggravated battery and neglect after she finally admitted that she had purposely dropped Skyler on his head not once, but twice, because he didn't want her to hold him and would not stop crying. I would like to ask her why she felt that if she HURT him, he would stop crying.

An autopsy report was going to be the deciding factor for the charges being changed to murder, a charge which is punishable by death in the state of Indiana. If she is charged with murder, a jury would decide her fate unless the vote was not unanimous for death, then the judge would decide. It was reported that the charge of aggravated batter shows enough evidence that Autumn was abusing Skyler and the neglect charge shows that she did not get medical help for him right away after he was injured.

Earlier in the year a complaint had been made to the Indiana Department Of Child Services saying that Skyler was being abused. Jean Seal, Skyler's biological mother reported that she had started to notice that her son had bruises on his face after his visits with his father on weekends, DCF said no evidence of abuse was found at that time.

Autumn Dunn ended up pleading guilty to felony neglect and six of the other charges against her were dropped. Indian has it right when they say murder is murder, now they need to fix things and prosecute murder AS murder instead of allowing people to plea down to things like felony neglect. Skyler was not neglected, he was murdered, he's dead, not just neglected. Autumn got off with only 30 years in prison for "neglecting" Skyler. Jean didn't agree with the sentence but had only agreed to it because there was a possibility that Autumn could get a lesser sentence or not do any time at all if she had been found not guilty:

"She killed my son. All he wanted to do was play with a ball. No amount of time can
take away
the pain"

How sad is it that Jean had to agree to a plea deal out of fear that a woman who ADMITTED to killing her son because she was upset at his crying when SHE wanted to hold him and he wanted to play ball, would maybe walk away with little or no time at all? What is wrong in this world when people can admit to breaking the law and a jury will not convict them?

Jean filed a lawsuit against the Indiana DCF saying that they were negligent when dealing with claims of abuse against her son. Jean was also suing Autumn as well as Allen Dunn, Skyler's biological father. In the lawsuit is says that Jean and Skyler's Doctor had reported the abuse they felt Skyler was suffering and due to DCF not conducting a proper investigation, Skyler died of abuse at the hands of Autumn. Part of the suit says: "DCF, it's agents, employees and representatives were negligent in failing to properly conduct its investigation into reports of abuse against Skyler Dunn".

Also in the complaint are allegations that the DCF didn't contact Skyler's Doctors or any other child abuse experts regarding the injuries that were reported.

"This tragedy demonstrates one of the toughest challenges Social Workers face, in that DCF did
conduct an assessment, but at the time of the action, was unable to find evidence that would
substantiate child abuse as defined by Indiana law"
DCF Spokeswoman - Stephanie McFarland

DCF records show that a visit was made to the home in January, though the Case Worker only talked to Autumn, Allen and a set of grandparents and didn't question any of the children. Living in the home were three other children who belong to Autumn and one of the children, a girl, was interviewed AFTER Skyler was already dead and she told the DCF worker that her mother would hit Skyler in the face.

It sounds to me like DCF was totally wrong in their investigation, they should always talk to the children, ALWAYS! I hope that Jean wins her settlement, nothing is going to replace her son and nothing will take the pain away, but the expenses she was left with in order to bury her son and to get therapy and try to deal with his death, are worth far more than any money can compensate for.

This page was created on June 17, 2014
Death occurred in the state of Indiana

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