Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

September 5, 2013

Woman accused of trying to kill autistic daughter, self

(Continued)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. —

Her husband Matt, principal at Frankfort High School and the school's athletic director and varsity football coach, declined comment.

Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson said she authorized a felony attempted murder charge in the case, but would not confirm Kelli Stapleton as the suspect nor her daughter as the victim. The mother is expected to be arraigned yet this week in 85th District Court.

Swanson said family members reported the woman, 45, and her daughter missing on Tuesday. An extensive search conducted by sheriff's deputies and Michigan State Police eventually located them in a parked, full-size van on Tuesday about 6:30 p.m. in a remote area.

State police Lt. Kip Belcher said two portable charcoal grills were burning inside the vehicle and the woman and child were unconscious when authorities came upon it. He said the van's windows were shut and investigators believe the woman tried to kill herself and her daughter.

The mother and daughter both suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and were taken to a local hospital being transferred to a Grand Rapids.

Belcher said the woman is expected to fully recover, but the girl may have suffered permanent brain damage. He said doctors should have a better grasp of the teen's condition today.

Matt Troutman writes for The Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle.

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