Anastasia Salgy was born to a methamphetamine-addicted mother. A month prior to coming into the care of her aunt, Kira Vansickle, she was left with a known drug dealer as collateral for a methamphetamine debt. While in the biological mother’s care, the baby was neglected and abused. At one point, she was sat upon by a drug user because the biological mother was high and incapable of protecting her.

When Anastasia came into her Aunt Kira’s home, Anastasia was showing multiple signs of trauma and was suffering from viral infection causing her to be feverish, vomiting and lethargic. Ten days after Kira opened her home to Anastasia, Anastasia suffered a febrile seizure. When Kira was unable to rouse her, she called 9-1-1. Anastasia was flown to St. Luke’s in Boise.

Kira Vansickle has no history of violence. She is a certified nurse’s assistant and has years of experience working in daycare settings. There is no characterological rationale the state can point to that would explain Kira committing the alleged crimes. Anastasia suffered no abusive head trauma while in Kira’s care.

After the child’s death, the doctor who performed the autopsy on the child did not conclude the death a homicide.

The medical incident occurred in October 2014. Kira Vansickle was arraigned on June 29, 2015. She was able to secure her release by posting $12,000 cash. She has had no violations of her release.

The state’s case for murder is weak, relying solely on circumstantial evidence. The state was able to obtain a grand jury indictment because Ms. Vansickle is not allowed an opportunity to present her side of the events in the grand jury hearing.

She is entitled under our system of justice to be presumed innocent and we request members of the Baker community honor her innocence and our Constitution.

Robert R. Raschio of John Day is executive director of Elkhorn Public Defenders and along with Robert Whitnah, a Baker City attorney, is representing Kira Vansickle on charges of murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault. Vansickle was arraigned on those charges Aug. 14 in Baker County Circuit Court. She is scheduled to enter a plea on Sept. 25.