Crime & Courts

Kansas mom’s abuse killed her 3-year-old daughter, Liberal police say

Liberal police are seeking murder charges against Soila Cheley, 20, in the death of her 3-year-old daughter in a Wichita hospital on Wednesday. Police say her daughter had signs of abuse and died from her injuries.
Liberal police are seeking murder charges against Soila Cheley, 20, in the death of her 3-year-old daughter in a Wichita hospital on Wednesday. Police say her daughter had signs of abuse and died from her injuries. Liberal Police Department

Liberal police are seeking murder charges against the mother of a 3-year-old girl who died in a Wichita hospital on Wednesday while being treated for “signs of abuse,” police say.

The girl, identified by police on Thursday as Maria Cheley Hernandez, spent 11 days in the hospital before she died.

The girl’s 20-year-old mother, Soila Cheley, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and attempted first-degree murder on Oct. 28. Police are now seeking first-degree murder charges after the girl’s death, Liberal Police Chief Dennis Mulanax said in a news release Thursday.

On Oct. 28, family members brought Maria, 3, to the emergency room at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal. Her injuries “appeared to be of an intentional nature” and “other possible signs of abuse were also discovered,” Mulanax said.

At Southwest Medical Center, Maria’s “condition deteriorated” and “life saving measures were conducted” before she was airlifted to a hospital in Wichita, Mulanax said.

On Wednesday, Maria died from her injuries, Mulanax said.

Soila Cheley, the girl’s mother, has been in Seward County jail since Oct. 28, Mulanax said.

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