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CA Mom Charged With Murder After Microwaving Baby

The Sacramento Bee via YellowBrix

June 22, 2011

SACRAMENTO – In what police say is an extremely rare and disturbing case, a Sacramento woman was arrested this morning for allegedly killing her 6-week-old daughter in March by placing her in a microwave oven.

Ka Yang, 29, was arrested at her Sacramento home this morning and charged with homicide after a three-month investigation into what caused unusual burns on the child, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, who was found dead on the afternoon of March 17.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Laura Peck said there have been only three previous cases involving a child being burned in a microwave, and that detectives studied those cases and consulted with medical experts and pathologists before making the arrest.

“It was a lengthy investigation to determine how these burns occurred,” Peck said. “When the officers arrived on scene they immediately saw there were unexplained injuries because of the burns. That led to this very lengthy, involved investigation to determine how these unusual and rare injuries occurred.”


The infant’s fourth-degree burns were among the worst investigators at the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office had seen, coroner’s spokesman Ed Smith said.

“The child was apparently killed by the burning of the tissue,” Smith said. “I don’t know if they can say how long baby was in the microwave.”

Yang has three other children, all boys ages 7 and younger, and they were removed from the home that day, police said.

The mother remained under suspicion while detectives studied previous cases in Texas, Virginia and Ohio.

Peck said the Texas case involved a Galveston child who survived being placed inside a microwave. A second case in Dayton, Ohio, involved the 2005 death of a 4-week-old baby and resulted in a guilty verdict and life sentence last month for the baby’s mother.

The 1999 death of a 1-month-old Virginia baby resulted in a five-year sentence for the mother.

Peck said the rarity of such cases contributed to the length of time between Mirabelle’s death and today’s arrest.

“That’s why it took so long,” she said. “Normally, we make an arrest within a few days. But in a situation like this where we had to do so much analysis, it took some time for us to piece together.”

Jail records show Yang is still in the process of being booked on charges of murder and assault resulting in the death of a child under 8.

Sacramento police studied three other known cases of babies being burned inside microwaves before today’s arrest of Ka Yang, including:

— The September 1999 death of 1-month-old Joseph Lewis Martinez in New Kent County, Va. The baby was found in the oven and his mother, Elizabeth Renee Otte, told authorities she became confused during an epileptic seizure and placed the boy in the microwave instead of a bottle of milk. She was charged with murder and in 2000 pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five years.

— The August 2005 death of 4-week-old Paris Talley in Dayton, Ohio. Talley’s mother, China Arnold, stood trial three times before her conviction last month on charges of aggravated murder. The jury in the case recommended a life sentence.

— The May 2007 injury of 2-month-old Ana Mauldin, who suffered burns on her left ear and arm after being palced inside a microwave oven for about 10 seconds in a Galveston, Texas, motel. The girl’s father, Joshua Mauldin, originally told authorities the child had been injured through by sunburn or scalding water. He was convicted in 2008 of injuring a child and sentenced to 25 years.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 3 years ago


  • Ready_set_go_max50


    about 3 years ago


    How utterly horrible that a parent could do this....hope she rots in prison

  • 827-2253l_max50


    about 3 years ago


    The punishment should fit the crime. Why not have a public burning at the stake! On second thought you will burn in Hell for a life time. Absolutley appalling

  • Erin_1_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Ka Yang you are a nasty, despicable piece of garbage. Rest in Peace Mirabelle Thao-Lo.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    about 3 years ago


    One can only hope she wakes up one day and off's herself saving everyone the time and trouble.

  • 582602_3283682777720_334551836_n_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump Twinker, I could barely "stomach" reading this article.

  • Car_004_max50


    about 3 years ago


    When you die I hope you cook slow, over and over again, feeling the heat penetrate your flesh at the hand of the devil. May you suffer the pain of that child times infinity for eturnity.

  • John_groh_max50


    about 3 years ago


    In California the most she will get is life. I hope the stick her in a small cell and keep her there until she rots.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    These mothers were not ready too take on the responsibility of a child. They develop hate and anger over nonsequential things, thinking it is okay too be that way.

  • Evil_max50


    about 3 years ago


    If CA were to ever actually follow through with the death penalty this certainly sounds like a prime case for it

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    Disgusting beyond words...eternal rest for the baby and hopefully, her other kids will be okay. I hope the police who worked on that are doing okay also.

  • Imag1641_max50


    about 3 years ago


    WHAT in the WORLD could have she been thinking? I, myself, couldn't even fathom the thought of hurting my children in any way, shape, or form. Good Lord!! I sincerly hope she gets what's comming to her in this life and the next!

  • Avatar7636_1_max50


    about 3 years ago



  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This one makes Casey Anthony look like mother of the year. This better be a death penalty case.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    about 3 years ago


    She deserve to be in jail the rest of her life.. and more than that ...The "mom name" is big for her she is a beast!!!

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