Woman sentenced in death of 3-year-old boy found with baby wipes lodged in his throat

Chelsea Cooley

BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to between 40 and 80 years in prison on Monday after she pleaded guilty to the death of her boyfriend’s 3-year-old son, who was found with baby wipes lodged in his throat.

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According to a news release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry’s office, Chelsea Renae Cooley, 33, of Bedford County, was sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of third-degree murder in Bedford County Court.

Cooley also pleaded guilty to felony strangulation and child endangerment, WJAC-TV reported.

The child was found unresponsive at Cooley’s residence on May 28, 2022, the release stated. The boy was discovered by police with the wipes blocking his breathing passage. The child was airlifted to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he died the next day, according to WPXI-TV.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner identified the boy as Travis W. Young, the television station reported. The death was ruled a homicide, and was a result of “manual strangulation and asphyxiation, the medical examiner’s office stated.

An investigation by Pennsylvania State Police revealed that Cooley was at home with the boy and other children at the time of the crime, according to the news release. The boy’s father was working a 12-hour shift and stated that his son was healthy when he left for work.

The Attorney General’s Office said that Cooley delayed calling 911 and hesitated in assisting the child while speaking to dispatchers, WHTM-TV reported.

“The facts of this case are horrific,” Henry said in a statement. “This defendant was responsible for caring for this child, and instead she did the unthinkable. She brutally murdered him, a defenseless and innocent three-year-old child. This defendant’s actions are devastating to the child’s loved ones, but we hope today’s admission and sentence offer a measure of justice.”