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By NIGEL DUARA
Associated Press Writer

LITTLETON, Iowa --

A toddler was found dead and his mother and 7-year-old brother injured Monday, a day after the father and husband had reported them missing while on a trip, authorities said.
The mother, Michelle Kehoe, and older son Sean underwent surgery, the state Division of Criminal Investigation said in a statement Monday night.
Buchanan County Attorney Allan VanderHart said 2-year-old Seth Kehoe was found dead near the minivan. He said the mother and boy suffered serious injuries but wouldn't disclose the nature of the injuries.
VanderHart said no charges have been filed and it was too early to consider anyone a suspect.
"The death needs to be investigated and it could have been any number of scenarios," he said. "It's just not possible at this point to say that we have any one scenario that we're ruling out."
Michelle Kehoe's husband, Eugene, called police Sunday night to report his wife and children had been missing since they left their Coralville home earlier in the day, VanderHart said. They were headed toward Sumner and never arrived.
On Monday morning, sheriff's deputies were called to a home near Littleton when Michelle Kehoe went to a house and told the residents that "the children were in danger," a state Division of Criminal Investigation statement said. The minivan was found near the house.
Littleton is about 70 miles north of Coralville.
The death came about 10 months after a car driven by Michelle Kehoe veered off the road and into the icy Iowa River on Dec. 14, 2007. Michelle Kehoe said she lost control of the car because her sons had distracted her. All were saved with help from bystanders.
VanderHart said he wasn't familiar with the earlier matter but didn't think it was connected to Monday's events.
"Whatever incident that entailed has no bearing on this investigation," he said.

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Mom of Iowa toddler found dead charged with murder

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The mother of a toddler who was found dead after being reported missing by his father was charged with the boy's murder.
Michelle Kehoe, 35, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Seth Kehoe. Buchanan County Attorney Allan VanderHart said she also faces charges of attempted murder and child endangerment resulting in serious injury for attacking her 7-year-old son, Sean.
Eugene Kehoe reported his wife and children missing Sunday night. They left their Coralville home to visit relatives earlier in the day and were found Monday when Michelle Kehoe walked into a home in Littleton and said the children were in danger, investigators had said.
According to affidavits filed Thursday, Sean told investigators that his mother stopped the van in Littleton, where she placed duct tape over his face and led him out of the vehicle. He then described feeling his neck being cut.
He told investigators he heard his younger brother call out and saw his mom hurting him, the affidavits stated.
According to an autopsy conducted by the State Medical Examiner, Seth died as a result of sharp force injuries to the neck.
The documents said Michelle Kehoe indicated she had planned the incident for months and bought the knife a month ago. She also wrote a note around the same time, detailing a story of being abducted with her children.
The note was found in the family's van by investigators.
VanderHart declined to discuss the case. Police said Michelle Kehoe didn't have an attorney yet.
The attack came about 10 months after Michelle Kehoe veered her car off the road and into the icy Iowa River. She had said she was distracted by her children and lost control of the car. All were saved with help from bystanders.
More than 200 mourners attended Seth's funeral Saturday in Iowa City, in the same church where he was baptized 20 months ago.
Kehoe remained at an Iowa City hospital after undergoing surgery for wounds she had when she was found. Police have neither released her condition nor indicated the nature of her injuries.
Sean was released from the hospital Friday.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/BO93615/
 
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