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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.

  • 800px-gadsden_flag


    about 3 years ago


    Anyone stop to think that maybe instead of being an evil demonic person, she has a serious psychiatric condition that led to this terrible act? There's a big difference between a totally sane and rationally-thinking individual doing something like that and someone who is seriously mentally ill doing it. Just something to consider here.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    death penalty, burn her in a microwave ! see how the little girl felt

  • Greensboroskyline_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I remember how distrubed I was when I first heard the story. In regards to the other story about the case from 08-1999. I don't know first hand, but how does having an epileptic seizure result in you placing your child in an oven?

  • Dsc00026_max50


    about 3 years ago


    We are closely approaching the days of a Family Planning Policy nearly identical to China's. It's the disturbing cases and dumbasses behind them who help create most of our controversial laws.

    God bless that child.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    In The Chair She Goes....

  • 20140808_191221_max50


    about 3 years ago


    She should get a date with the needle.

  • 4076_1_sbl_max600_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Put her in an adult sized micro-waye!!! I continue to insist you need a license to have a baby!

  • Policememorial---a_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Words cannot describe the absolute loathing I have towards this inhuman, despicable monster. If she no longer wanted the child, there are plenty of ways to give her away to people who will cherish and care for her without murdering her in such a cruel and monstrous fashion!

    California better give this animal more than a slap on the wrist for this inhumane crime.

  • Jack-sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean_max50


    about 3 years ago


    What is with people?

  • Littlegirltongue_max50


    about 3 years ago


    okay just so I can wrap my head around this - forget the emotions I have right now and blame it on a medical condition or mental instability but how???? I mean it would take SOME effort to do this - and at some they know it's just so wrong. I'm with you Bury!!!

  • Caduceus_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This is really sick and twisted. I really can't wrap my head around this.

  • Photography2012_205_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Wow this is sick, I can't even imagine how someone would want to kill their child let alone in a microwave. May God bless the children that were taken out of her custody.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago

    Bump to rambo911

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago

    big bump rambo911

  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Amazing that the others received either a light or relatively light sentence. There is a very special place in Hell for people that kill their own children and to do so by cooking them alive in a Microwave oven!, that has to be one of the most horrible ways to die, being cooked from the inside out! This person does not deserve to take another breath and should be disposed of immediately!

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