• Mother pleads guilty for putting murdered toddler in harm's way

    By: Richard Thompson


    Two-year-old Koralynn Fister was tortured, raped and murdered in Centralia last May. 

    The boyfriend of the little girl’s mother was convicted of murder in the case and is now in prison, but today, the child’s mother, Becky Heupel, took responsibility for not taking steps to protect her daughter.

    In an exclusive interview with KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Heupel said, “I loved Koralynn she was my daughter.”

    Lewis County prosecutors said Becky Heupel had seen injuries on her 2-year-old daughter Koralynn but did nothing about it.

    Heupel would leave Koralynn in the care of James Reeder, who systematically tortured and ultimately killed the child.

    Today, Huepel told KIRO 7 her mistake was trusting Reeder.

    South Sound Reporter Richard Thompson asked Huepel  “Could you have done something to help your daughter and keep her safe?”

     Huepel’s replied, “No, because I trusted him and thought he was helping me and being good.”

    Centralia detectives said Reeder manipulated and intimidated Heupel, who does have some developmental disabilities, but prosecutors said she knew right from wrong and should have done something after seeing some of the girl’s injuries.

    “When you see something like that you need to bring medical attention you need to take your child to a doctor,” said the prosecutor.

    Huepel pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment.

    In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of one year and one day in jail.

    Heupel will be sentenced next month.

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