Kayleigh Jayne Slusher
May 2, 2010 - January 30, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial

On January 27, 2014, Police were called to an apartment where a neighbor said there was excessive yelling taking place. Police arrived at about 9:40 a.m. and the incident was considered a family disturbance. After talking to Ryan Scott Warner, the 26 year old boyfriend of 23 year old Sara Krueger who said it was just an argument without physical violence, they checked on Kayleigh who seemed to have no injuries and wasn't stressed out that they could tell, no further action was taken.



On January 29th, at around 5:58 p.m., Police were back at the home after a family member called to get a welfare check done on Kayleigh because Sara had been using drugs and allowing other people to come over and use drugs with her. During that visit, Kayleigh was seen walking from her room to Sara's side and she didn't appear to have anything wrong with her and though the caller had said that they thought Kayleigh was not being fed, there was food on the counter and the home seemed to be clean.

A third call for a welfare check came in on February 1 and this time, it was too late for Kayleigh. Police entered the home and found Kayleigh's body laying in bed next to a doll, she was already dead.

Sara had rented the apartment in February of 2012 and had always been a good tenant and her rent was always paid on time. Neighbors said that Sara always seemed to be a good mother until her boyfriend moved into the apartment and they both started do Meth amphetamine. Kayleigh had always loved to play dress up, play with her Barbies and she loved Minnies Mouse, however, after Ryan moved in, Kayleigh seemed like a zombie having dark circles under her eyes.

Sara was said to have been going to school to become a pre-school teacher and neighbors often saw her outside smoking while Kayleigh played or rode her bike.


When Kayleigh died, it was reported that she had suffered blunt force trauma and had possibly been sexually assaulted, that was what Police Lt. Debbie Peecook said. Ryan and Sara were arrested on suspicion of murder and assault of a child resulting in death. After Ryan moved in, the curtains were always closed and Kayleigh was rarely seen outside and when they did go out, neighbors said that Sara had a lost of a lot of weight and Kayleigh always seemed to be sad.

Sara had been sent a warning letter letting her know that the Police were watching her and that if she wanted to continue to live in the building, she needed to stop the large amount of traffic in and out of the apartment and it was brought up that Ryan was not on the lease to be living there. Sara had 24 hours to comply with the demands in the letter. The manager of the building was shocked when she saw Kayleigh being taken from the home in a body bag:

"It was devastating, that just blew my mind. It was the saddest day in the world. I can't imagine
what she was going through, being tortured, being sexually assaulted. I mean, it's a little girl.
She's defenseless. She's helpless. Poor thing"
Elizabeth C.

Neighbors started leaving candles, toys and notes at the apartment. There was a candle light vigil held and Kayleigh's grandfather spoke up:

"You couldn't imagine what I'm going through. The most proudest moment in my life is gone forever and
there's nothing we do or say to bring her back and I hope nobody ever has to go through this. It's rough"



Reports said that Child Protective Services had never been called to check on Rayleigh, only the Police who said they never found anything wrong until the day they found her dead. Sadly and disgustingly, Kayleigh was said to have died on or around January 30 and her body had been put inside of a suitcase and stored in the freezer before being laid in the bed that Police found her in.

A 2008 filing of a restraining order against Ryan told the story of a woman who was pregnant with his baby and refused to have an abortion. Ryan had threatened her several times and made disgusting comments about the baby:

"I hope the kids dies or is born retarded"

"If I find out you're cheating on my, I'll but your teeth out with a pipe"

"I've been on the run many times"

Nancy Grace, an HLN host, can always be counted on to be out of line. On her Facebook page, Nancy made a post about Kayleigh and instead of being civil and tasteful about it, she used the hash tag "Freezer Tot". What a piece of garbage Nancy Grace can be. People reading Nancy's posts let her know that she was out of line and they quickly let her know that this was a child, not a freezer tot and that she has a name. On online petition was started to ask Nancy to take it down and to apologize:

Grace needs to remove her hash tag "#freezertot" and apologize To Kayleigh Slusher's family!

On February 6th, 2014 the "Official Fan Page of Nancy Grace" on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/NancyGraceHLN, posted a picture and short description of murdered 3 year old Kayleigh Slusher of Napa, Ca. along with the hashtag "#freezertot". This insensitive and unnecessary hashtag has caused an uproar in not just the community of Napa, but, across the country and to usual supporters of Nancy Grace. We are asking you to sign and share this petition. It is our hope to have Nancy Grace, or those in charge of this Facebook page, remove this highly offensive and disgusting hashtag and make a public apology to the family and friends of Kayleigh Slusher.

The page was changed and the hashtag read #justiceforkayleigh.

In February of 2014 while facing Judge Mark Boessenecker, Ryan and Sara plead not guilty, Ryan showed no emotion at all while Sara cried as their lawyers entered their pleas. Ryan and Sara both waived their rights to a preliminary hearing in ten days and a date was set for April  2, 2014 and they were facing a sentence of 25 years to life.

Public Defender Kris Keeley had filed motions to keep the press out of the courtroom saying that any publicity could affect people who might serve on the jury:

"Extensive pretrial publicity in a small county like Napa can result in a change of venue. A
change of venue adversely impacts the parties by placing serious added burdens on witnesses,
the victims families, defendants families and law enforcement. A change of venue would inevitable
extract a serious financial toll on the county. In addition, it is evident that where possible, a criminal
trial should occur in the county where the alleged crimes were committed. To permit extensive
media coverage could result in the citizens of Napa not being able to hear and decide the case"

The Judge would not allow the media in to the courtroom. When the hearing ended, family members would not speak to the press, however, District Attorney Gary Lieberstein made a comment:

"We will continue to evaluate the evidence as it is processed and reports are received. If we believe
additional or different charges are warranted, we will make such decision at the appropriate time in
the future"


Kayleigh's biological father, Jason Slusher, was in prison when he heard about her death and would not be able to attend the private funeral that was held after her body was finally released to his family. A memorial fund was set up to help bury her and Kayleigh was buried next to a tree.

Sara's father said:

"No matter what happens to Sara, she will be changed forever. It's beyond
words. I know my daughter loved Kayleigh with all her heart.

John said that Sara had been manipulated by Ryan:

"There's a monster that started all this, ten months ago, when he came
 into my daughter's life. She has been a changed person.
The Sara
that I know and love used to call her dad every day. She knew I didn't
approve of her boyfriend"
John Krueger

John wanted to know why there had been no one there to help his granddaughter and he spoke about having taken her to work with him at times:




"I just won't ever have these moments again with her. That's going to be the roughest part because
I'm going to have to live with this day in and day out"

Sadly, I am thinking about what's going to happen when John finally comes to the realization that his daughter is partly to blame for what happened to this little Angel.

In March, a gag order was put in place to prevent the Lawyers in the case as well as any Law Enforcement personnel from discussing the case unless they were in court. Sara's Lawyer, Kris Keeley and Ryan's Lawyer, Mervin Lernhart Jr., had asked the judge to issue the gag order on the grounds of extensive pretrial publicity. It was claimed that Police were giving information to the press which included inflammatory information about the case. It was alleged that District Attorney Gary Lieberstein had told the members of the press that the case should not be tried in the media and then he was the one who told the press how Kayleigh had died.

OBITUARY:



KAYLEIGH SLUSHER
2010-2014

Home: Napa, CA
Date of Death: February 01, 2014
Place of Birth: Napa, CA
Birthdate: May 03, 2010
Age: 3

Funeral Information
Interment: Tulocay Cemetery, Napa, CA

Biography:

Kayleigh Jayne Slusher will be remembered for her bright smile, lots of energy and a love for Sophia the First.
She was born May 3, 2010 in Napa to Jason Slusher and Sara Krueger.

She is survived by her dad Jason; mom, Sara; grandparents, Benny and Robin Slusher; John Krueger and Cindy
Leuthold; great grandparents, Vernon and Bev Slusher, Harold and Dee Fix; Lester and Phyllis Krueger, Pat and
Steve Pinkerton, and Steve Bolster uncles, Michael (Jennifer) Slusher and Jeff (April) Slusher cousins Ryan,
Hunter, Jeremy and Sophia Slusher; Aunt Sophia Grech. also, uncles, Adam, Tim, Shawn, Paul, Mike and Dan;
aunts, Stacey, Natalie, Jenna, Debbie, Susan, Cheryl, Betsy and Sue; and cousins, Timmy, Grace, James, Shea,
Britt, Jessica, Lauren, Josh, Ben, Katie and Sara.

Kayleigh's body was laid to rest on Friday, February 7, 2014 in a private service at Tulocay Cemetery. Memorial
contributions may be made to COPE Family Center, 1340 4th Street, Napa CA 94558, the Law Enforcement
Chaplaincy of Napa California, (LECNC PO Box 2022, Napa, CA 94558). Words of sympathy may be shared with
the family on-line at www.tulocaycemetery.org.

Death occurred in the state of California
This page was created on August 9, 2014

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