Monday, April 4, 2011

Disabled Utah woman Christina Harms murdered, tied up as if crucified, say police

(CBS/AP/KUTV) KEARNS, Utah - Three people supposedly caring for a disabled Utah woman found dead on Friday are now accused of murder and torture.

Christina Harms, 22, was found dead at her home near Friday afternoon after a 911 caller reported a possible overdose. Unified

Sherrie Beckering,Cassandra Sheppard, Dale Beckering
(Credit: Unified Police Dept.)
Police detectives investigating her death say Harms appeared to have been tied up in a closet crucifixion-style.
They also say the woman had what is believed to be pepper seed in her eye lids and had her arms bandaged so she was unable to remove it, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal says investigators found Harms' body covered in bruises and marks on her wrists and ankles consistent with the use of restraints.

A cause of death is pending an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office.

Police say Harms had special needs and was unable to care for herself. Three of her caretakers are now facing charges in her death.

Cassandra Sheppard was booked in to the Salt Lake County Jail for domestic violence-murder and domestic violence-obstructing justice as she was the victim's legally documented guardian caretaker and cohabitant, according to Unified Police. Dale and Sherrie Beckering were booked on the charge of domestic violence abuse of a vulnerable adult.