ISP Logo

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

For immediate release:  
July 27, 2018
Des Moines, Iowa

Arrest in Death Investigation of
5 Year-Old in Ottumwa

-- On July 19, 2018, at approximately 3:22 p.m., the Ottumwa Police Department received a 911 call reporting an unresponsive five year-old female at a residence located at 127 North James Street in Ottumwa.  Police and Fire responded to the residence.  The child was transported to Ottumwa Regional Health Center where she was pronounced deceased. The Ottumwa Police Department requested assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation with the death investigation.

The Office of the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office conducted the autopsy of the child on July 23, 2018.  The results of the autopsy are still pending at this time.

On July 24-25, 2018, members of the Ottumwa Police Department and Special Agents with the Iowa DCI conducted search warrants and several interviews.

On July 26, 2018, members of the Ottumwa Police Department and the Iowa DCI interviewed Kelsie Thomas, 22 years old, the mother of the child.  During this interview with law enforcement, Thomas admitted to killing her daughter.

Thomas was then placed under arrest by law enforcement and is being held in the Wapello County Jail. Thomas was charged with Murder in the First Degree under Iowa Code Section 707.2(e).  This is a Class “A” Felony.  No Bond has been set at this time until Thomas has an initial arraignment on the charge. 

This is an ongoing investigation being worked jointly by the Ottumwa Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Ottumwa Fire Department, ORMICS Ambulance Service, Wapello County Attorney’s Office, Iowa Attorney Generals Office and the Office of the Iowa State Medical Examiner.

No further information will be released at this time.

Media contact: Iowa DCI Special Agent in Charge Michael Motsinger, (515) 729-3706.

Complaint and Affidavit (pdf)

Kelsie Ray Thomas Mugshot                          Kelsey Ray Thomas

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

                                                                            Facebook        Twitter

To enroll in the DPS E-mail Notification system simply log on to and follow the instructions to enroll as a new user.