Adams County employees charged with endangerment in toddler’s violent death
Three Children and Youth Services employees — Steven Murphy, Clarissa Kiessling and Sherri DePasqua — are charged with endangerment of a child in the death of 15-month-old Iris Mummert in May 2020.
District Attorney Brian Sinnett said during a news conference Tuesday that Children and Youth Services was warned Iris could be in danger, but recommended the court return her to her mother’s care — and she was in February 2020.
Three months later, Mummert was found dead after being violently shaken by her mother, Felisha Ellis. She had multiple bruises, a fractured right clavicle, a frontal skull fracture and two brain bleeds. Ellis pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, but the investigation showed possible missteps by CYS employees.
To Sinnett, the employees “willfully chose not to listen,” or “didn’t do what they should.”
“The proper things were not done by CYS that should have been done,” Sinnett said. Specifically, not following up on concerns and not addressing them to the court.”
A statewide investigating grand jury recommended the employees be charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of children. Sinnett said material evidence, including emails and text messages, shows the workers were advised to keep Mummert separated from her mother.