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Judge refuses to lower bail for Utah woman accused of killing son

Published November 4, 2013 4:56 pm

Courts • Heidi Rutchey is charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old boy.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A judge refused to lower bail on Monday for a woman whose 2-year-old son was found dead in their River Heights home last month.

Heidi Marie Rutchey, 42, is charged in Logan's 1st District Court with first-degree felony murder in the death of her son, Eli.

On Monday, 1st District Judge Thomas Willmore refused to grant her attorney's request for a bail reduction, opting to leave the $100,000 bond in place.

Rutchey is expected to be in court again on Nov. 21 for a preliminary hearing.

An "extensive investigation" by the medical examiner revealed that the toddler died from suffocation or "some kind of airway interruption," according to a probable cause statement filed with the court.

Forensic tests determined that Eli had already been dead a week or more when law enforcement found his body. Court documents say the boy died as early as Aug. 27.

Cache County sheriff's deputies discovered the boy's death shortly after the mother went to Logan Regional Hospital seeking emergency medical treatment for herself on Sept. 4 for "a number of medical issues," according to the sheriff's office.

When hospital staff learned that she had a child, they were concerned for his well-being and sent law enforcement officers to check on him.

While at the hospital, the mother was distraught, court documents state. She called herself a "baby killer" and told hospital personnel that "something terrible has happened" and "he suffocated in the tub."

Rutchey remained hospitalized for several weeks before her arrest Thursday.

After she was taken into custody, Rutchey told officers she had suffocated her son by placing her hand over his mouth and nose, the probable cause statement states. She then tried to kill herself by overdosing on medication.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller