‘I want her to suffer’: Grieving Indiana mom wants toddler’s alleged killer to feel her pain

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:41 PM EDT
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SALEM, Ind. (WAVE) - A young mother in Washington County is finding it hard to work through her grief. Tuesday, Madison McDowell’s 2-year-old daughter died after being found unresponsive in the child’s father’s home.

Murder charges were filed Wednesday against the father’s girlfriend, Sarah Bierly. She was initially charged with neglect of a dependent causing death.

“I want her to know that she’s taking something out of my life that I can’t ever get back,” McDowell said. “And I want her to suffer and feel every pain and tears that I feel.”

A coroner’s report indicated McDowell’s daughter Misty died of blunt force trauma. Prosecutors made the decision to pursue murder charges after Bierly was originally charged with neglect.

“The autopsy report listed homicide, blunt force trauma as the cause of death,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls said. “So, with that information ... with the interviews, all that together, they feel comfortable with the murder charge.”

In McDowell pictures with her daughter, Misty can be seen with her mother, smiling and happy. The pictures show moments of apparent joy for a toddler whose life was cut short — a life where McDowell said there were loving smiles that have been replaced with impossible heartache.

“She is beautiful, caring, sweet, lovey-dovey,” McDowell said. “She’ll be your best friend if you just play with her.”

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