Last May, I covered the story of a seven-week-old girl named Shaylie Quinn Madden, who survived being thrown into a ravine in Asheville, North Carolina by her mother.
35-year-old Krista Madden initially told police that she and her daughter were carjacked and kidnapped by a red-haired male and a black-haired female wearing ski masks. She said she had escaped her captors, which was why police found her walking alone on a country road. That did not explain why police found her car abandoned nearby, nor did it explain why, later that evening, a couple named Scott and Cheryl Fowler heard a baby crying from the ravine next to their property. When Scott Fowler climbed into the ravine to investigate, he discovered little Shaylie, dirty, banged up, but alive, about 30 to 35 feet down. She had rolled under a rock, which stopped her from plunging further downward. Shaylie was wearing a pink onesie printed with the slogan: “I love my mommy.”
Authorities called shenanigans on Krista’s kidnapping tale and arrested her on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder. Krista and her husband, Dr. Jesse Madden, also have an older daughter, who is now four years old.
Evidently, Krista had been experiencing some symptoms of possible mental illness prior to the incident. One of her attorneys, Sean Devereux, explained it as, “Not depression so much as she’d sort of been stressed… She was not getting any sleep, and there were complications; the new baby just had some sort of cosmetic surgery, nothing serious, but it’s been tough. She’s had her hands full. Everybody said she was a wonderful mother to the older child and was doing fine with this kid. So it just kind of came totally out of the blue.”
(Showing signs of stress and not getting any sleep do not equate to something “just kind of” coming “totally out of the blue,” but that’s just my opinion. Then again, this is the same attorney who described Shaylie’s experience of being hurled into a ravine by her mother as “the incident where the child was abandoned briefly,” so there’s that.)
In June of 2019, Krista’s bail was reduced from $750,000 to $100,000. She was able to make bail and given the condition that she could have no direct contact with either of her children.
Since then, Krista has been allowed some visits with her daughters, although they have been supervised by caseworkers with Buncombe County’s Department of Social Work Services. These visits were allowed because, according to Henderson County District Attorney Greg Newman, Krista’s husband consented to the visits.
Krista has been indicted, and Mr. Newman anticipates a jury trial, although no date has been set. “We have absolutely no clarity from our chief justice as far as when we can resume jury trials.” Due to the pandemic, he explained, “everything is in a holding position.”
According to defense attorney Devereux, Krista, now 36, has been staying with her parents in South Asheville. The girls live with her husband, Jesse. “She’s still restricted to the home,” Devereux said. “[She] can have supervised visits with her daughters, and that’s been going very well, and the kids are doing well.”
Shaylie celebrated her first birthday on March 16, 2020.
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Shaylie’s case.
Sources: The Citizen Times