Emma Krueger suffered beatings for perhaps a month before her mother called 911 on Monday night because the child wasn’t breathing, police officials said Thursday.
Emma, 3, never recovered, dying Wednesday night at Wesley Medical Center.
Emma’s mother, 24-year-old Monica Krueger, and her mother’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Evan Schuessler, now face potential felony murder charges, Lt. Todd Ojile said Thursday. They had been booked into the Sedgwick County Jail early Tuesday morning on suspicion of child abuse and aggravated child endangerment, but the booking offenses were amended after Emma died.
Krueger is being held in the jail’s hospital clinic and Schuessler in an inmate pod, jail records indicated Thursday.
Abuse cases such as this are “extremely difficult to work,” Ojile said. “They’re little children. They can’t protect themselves.”
Authorities were notified by medical staff at Wesley after Emma’s injuries were assessed. Doctors told investigators she had bruises all over her body and swelling in her brain.
Such cases “are difficult to understand,” Ojile said.
Emma had lived at Falcon Pointe Apartments, 4244 S. Hydraulic, with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend for about three months, Ojile said. There had been no previous reports of abuse or other criminal activity involving Krueger or Schuessler.
Homicide detectives were notified immediately, Ojile said, because Emma “was in grave condition upon arrival at Wesley.”
Dozens of people attended a prayer vigil for Emma outside Wesley on Wednesday night. As the vigil was going on, Emma was removed from life support at about 7:30 p.m.
Evidence in the case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office either Friday afternoon or Monday, Ojile said.