Man charged in 2012 death of Derby baby

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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ROSE HILL, Kan. -- For more than a year since her daughter's death, Katlin Sinderson has waited, hoping for justice for Farrah.

"She was my world, just everything," Sinderson said. "She still is. She could win anybody's heart over with her big blue eyes."

Sinderson says this week's arrest of her former boyfriend, just days before Farrah's birthday, is the first step toward the justice she has been seeking.

Jason Bugner, 21, of Newton, has been charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter in the August 2012 death of then 17-month-old Farrah Pendland. He is being held on $100,000 bond.

He made his first appearance Thursday. He is expected to next be in court February 27th for his preliminary hearing.

"It just felt like a whole bunch of weight was lifted off my shoulders and it was easier to breathe," Sinderson said.

According to court documents, Bugner was at their Derby home with Farrah on August 30, 2012. One of his friend's came over to the house. According to an amended autopsy report, investigators believe Farrah was put in a car seat that was sitting on the edge of a futon mattress. She was left alone in the bedroom to take a nap. According to the report, investigators determined when Bugner came back to check on her, she was found "suspended with the car seat strap around her neck."

Katlin's mother, Stacie Dickey, says Bugner called her to tell her Farrah was on the way to Wesley Medical Center. Dickey says she rushed over to the Rose Hill nursing home where Katlin worked.

"I just wanted to be with her because she's my baby girl and that was her baby girl," Dickey said. "It's just more than somebody her age should ever have to go through."

Farrah died at the hospital. The coroner later noted other injuries and wrote, "The number of blunt force injuries are worrisome for non-accidental trauma."

But in the original autopsy report, the coroner said the cause and manner of death could not be determined.

No arrests were made until Bugner was booked this past week.

Given all of those circumstances, Dickey says she and her daughter's family have not been able to truly mourn for Farrah.

"How do you grieve over something when you don't have any closure?" Dickey said.

But the family says thanks to the arrest, they may be able to finally start the grieving process.

That process will begin with a ceremony at Farrah's gravesite Saturday. Farrah would have celebrated her third birthday February 15th.

"I hope she's happy up in heaven and she's celebrating her birthday and everything is just right for her," Sinderson said.

"We miss her every day," Dickey said.

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