Two people have been arrested and charged with first degree murder in connection with the Nov. 19 death of 4-year-old Skylar Shellstrom.
The child’s mother, 29-year-old Victoria Dycus, and James Hagen Glenn, 31, were charged by 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Don McSpadden.
Bond was set at $1 million each.
Under Arkansas law, “A person commits murder in the first degree if the person knowingly causes the death of a person 14 years of age or younger at the time the murder was committed.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause for arrest filed in Stone County Circuit Court, Glenn and Dycus called Stone County 911 around 5:48 p.m. on Nov. 19 to report the girl was not breathing. She was transported to Stone County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 6:39.
Because of the nature of her injuries, the affidavit stated, it was recommended that the state medical examiner be requested to determine cause of death. The autopsy identified cause of death as peritonitis following duodenal rupture caused by blunt force abdominal injuries. The death was listed as a homicide. The pathologist also listed as contributory causes multiple abrasions and contusions in various stages of healing.
According to the affidavit, Dycus and Glenn shared a residence at 1006 Herpel Road, where Skylar Shellstrom also lived. The document states that during interviews, Dycus and Glenn offered several explanations for the bruising and abrasions, including Shellstrom intentionally pulling a hot blow dryer against her face and punching herself with her own fist, a dog’s chain becoming wrapped around her, and a trampoline incident in which her older brother landed on her stomach.
See the full story in the Dec. 28, 2016 issue.