Koralynn Marie Fister
March 9, 2010 - May 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial

David Fister and Becky Heupel had been a couple for about three years and then about the time their daughter turned tow years old, March of 2012, they decided to separate:

"I lost my job about nine months ago, before that, we were as happy as can be"
David Fister

Before they separated, David worked in a sandwich shop while Becky stayed home and took care of Koralynn and her sister who was older than she was:

"She was always a loving mom, would jump through hoops to do anything for the girls.
She never laid a finger on them"

At first their breakup was a friendly one, they agreed to co-parent and Koralynn would go with David on Wednesday and Thursday. Then for some reason, Becky didn't allow David to visit or see Koralynn. Becky would not answer his texts and she kept telling him that their daughter was sick. About the middle of April, David went to get Kora, as he called her, Becky said that he could not take her and Kora was not happy:

"Kora wailed like I'd never heard. She'd never done that before"

Kora was eventually allowed to go with her father to spend the night and David said that Kora was excited to be with him, they stayed with his Aunt, where David lived and they watch cartoons and she had Spaghetti O's for dinner. That would be the last time David was able to spend time with Kora or to see her alive.

Police were called the home of Becky where her boyfriend claimed to have found Koralynn face down in the bathtub, he said he left her in the bathroom alone to go and get a towel after Becky and the older sister had left the home. James took Koralynn across the street, wrapped in a towel and asked for help, but she was pronounced dead just a short time after that. James M. Reeder was 25 years old when Police arrested him after he and Becky were interviewed at their home. Though Becky was not a suspect in the death of Koralynn, the four year old sister of Koralynn was removed from the home and placed into temporary, protective custody.

Reports said that Koralynn's body had shown signs of torture and rape and she had died from drowning and blunt force head trauma. The community was in an uproar about her death and they were asking for the maximum penalty for James and even saying that Becky should burn in hell for failing to protect Koralynn. David didn't agree with what they were saying about Becky:

"I will say, Becky is one of the best moms I've ever known. I don't feel
Becky had anything to do with anything. I have to believe that"

David said he didn't think Becky would have allowed James to stay in the home or be around her children if she thought he was abusing them in any way adding that she was a sharp and strong person. David had only seen her a few times since Koralynn's death but they were on friendly terms:

"She came by my Uncle's house to give me a hug and tell me she was sorry.
She said she was sorry about ten times"

Becky was apologizing for having kept Koralynn away from David and for what had happened to their daughter. David had been unaware that Becky was seeing anyone until the day his daughter died and he found out that James was friends with Becky's four year old daughter.

James was eventually charged with homicide by abuse, rather than murder as it was originally though by Prosecutors it would be. Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said that the crime scene had been one of repeated attacks and torture on Koralynn until she finally died. The maximum penalty for homicide by abuse is life in prison, which is the about the same time a person can get for first degree murder. James was also being held on additional charges of first degree assault, two counts of first degree child rape and possession of Meth amphetamine, which was found in a dresser during a Police search.

Defense Attorney David Archuri said that James has been living in this county all of his life and had been unemployed for about the past year. James was held on $5 million bail.

David's family was by his side, his mother, aunt, sister and a cousin had come from Iowa and said that David had been having a hard time, drinking the first few days and losing a lot of sleep, David was exhausted and not doing well.

David said in an interview that his daughter's name was partly after his sister, Lynn and her middle name was after his mother's middle name and that when she was cranky it was because she was tired. Koralynn loved dinosaur chicken nuggets and she would climb on anything:

"She was not afraid of heights. We called her Monkey"

There was a candlelight vigil held for Koralynn as well as a group on Facebook that planned to lay flowers in her memory, in the front yard of the home where she died. David wanted to attend that memorial:

"I have my own grieving. Sometimes I can't even find peace in my day to mourn.
It's so overwhelming, the responsibility of it all"

Becky and David were both horribly upset about the death of Koralynn, but the came together to plan her funeral. David wanted James to get life in prison without parole so that he would never be able to hurt anyone else and while he was angry with Becky, he said he doesn't say bad things about her. An account was opened at West Coast Bank for those who wanted to help with funeral expenses.

In March of 2013 having never admitted to his guilt, but having agreed to a plea deal saying he could never get a fair trial, James was sentenced to 37 years in prison. Prosecutors had said that James was alone in the house with Koralynn when she died, that he had some how hit her in the head and then drowned her in the tub. James gave an interview from jail in which he said:

"It's been a living hell for me in here. I've been called a rapist and a baby killer for the last
ten months. I run across the street and have neighbors call 911 while I'm trying to give her
CPS and save her life, I was terrified. Everybody thinks I'm a monster and a baby rapist and
a murderer. You think I'm going in front of a jury of 12 people and they are going to give me
a fair chance at all in trial"

When asked why he had tortured, raped and killed Koralynn, James said:

"I did not torture, rape and murder Koralynn"

As part of his plea deal, James gave up his rights to any appeals.

Prosecutors were planning charges of second degree mistreatment against Becky, saying that she has developmental issues, but they were filing charges any way. In March of 2013, Becky Heupel was charged second degree criminal mistreatment and in May of 2013, Judge James Lawler sentenced her to one year in prison for her failure to protect Koralynn.

Koralynn had been hurt so badly, raped over and over so much that she had patches of skin missing from her body. Prosecutors had this say about Becky:

"After reviewing all the evidence and speaking with the Officers who investigated the case
as well as the Deputies who handled the prosecution of Mr. Reeder, it is my office's belief
that Heupel was reckless in her actions and knew of the dangers and chose to disregard"

Becky chose not to speak, but a written statement was read:

"You took both precious gifts of God away from me. You betrayed everyone's trust
but most of all my little defenseless baby. Pretending to help me all the while using
my beloved daughter for your own evilness"

Becky's comments were directed towards James.


Koralynn Marie Fister

Born March 9, 2010 in Centralia, Wash.,and left us far too soon, May 24, 2012.

Kora had a very infectious smile and big beautiful blue eyes that she would use to look you in your eyes, touch your heart and wrap you around her finger. She picked up the nickname "Monkey" soon after she learned to walk due to her love to climb and bounce with her big sis.

Koralynn is preceded in death by her great-grandfathers, Gideon Heupel and Harold Davis. She is survived by her loving family: father, David Fister of Centralia, Wash., mother Becky Heupel of Centralia, Wash., sister Allee Heupel of Centralia, Wash., great-grandmothers Mildred Short of Centralia, Wash., and Lauretta Davis of Hoopa, Calif., grandparents Terry and Rhonda Heupel of Centralia, Wash., Sandy Fister and Van Kaiser of Des Moines, Iowa, Shirley and Pye Ramos of Eureka, Calif., aunts and uncles Amberlynn Ingraham, Jake Ingraham,, Heather Heupel, Nicole Reed, Brandon Reed, Jonathan Anderson, Autumn Anderson, Thomas Ramos, Sarah Ramos, Bill and Tonya Fister, cousins Marcy Trebul, Megan Fister and many more aunts, uncles and cousins.

David, Becky and family would like to express extreme thanks to their extended family and the community for their support and love.

A private memorial service will be held Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Thank you Cat for your continued suport of these little Angels.

This page was created on January 7, 2015
Death occurred in the state of Washington

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