21-Year-Old Missouri Mother Arrested After Toddler Found Beaten To Death

| by Corinne Gaston
article imagearticle image

When police arrived at the Missouri home of Taylor Lynn Fast and found the young mother’s toddler beaten to death, they realized Fast's claim that a spider bite had caused her daughter’s injuries didn't quite sound right.

Fast, 21, reportedly called 911 on the morning of April 19 and said that her daughter, Layla, had been bitten by a spider the night before and was unconscious. However, when police arrived, they noticed that bruises covered the deceased child’s body and there were severe injuries on her face and neck. Layla was 17 months old.

Police Chief Tim Lewis of the Festus Police Department said that Layla looked as though she had been in a car crash.

“Any person would’ve walked in, would’ve looked at the child, would’ve immediately recognized, without any medical treatment, that that child was not alive,” said Lewis to CBS St. Louis. “And to tell everybody that thought it was a spider that child that bit the child, yeah, that’s a little bit hard to believe.”

Fast was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, but police say the charges may change based on the results of the autopsy. Fast’s boyfriend was taken into custody and is also being questioned about Layla's death; the information gathered from his questioning may lead to more charges being filed. 

Fast’s family has reacted with grief and shock.

“We just want the truth of what really happened to our granddaughter,” said Layla’s grandfather David Dunn, Sr. to Fox2now. “She was a beautiful little girl. Would have never expected this from the mom or whatever. I don’t know what to say.”

The family is also concerned about Layla’s 3-year-old brother, who suffered from a broken leg and was taken from the apartment and hospitalized. 

Sources: Daily Mail, Fox2now, CBS St. Louis

Image source: Fox2now