The Coast News Group
Driver Vista Fallbrook hit-and-run death

Oceanside woman pleads not guilty in infant daughter’s death

OCEANSIDE — An Oceanside woman is in jail this week accused of killing her newborn infant, identified in documents only as Baby Kiera C., at her home last November.

Kelsey Shande Carpenter, 31, was arrested last week and pleaded not guilty on Thursday, March 25, to charges of first-degree murder and child cruelty. She is currently being held at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee awaiting an April 9 bail review hearing.

On Nov. 15, 2020, Carpenter called emergency services to say that her newborn baby wasn’t breathing. Emergency services responded to Carpenter’s apartment in the 300 block of Canyonside Way to find a newborn infant that wasn’t breathing and took the baby to a hospital where it was pronounced dead.

A later autopsy determined the baby was alive at the time of birth, said Tom Bussey, a spokesperson for the Oceanside Police Department. Bussey said he did not know further details of the investigation including the cause of death for the infant.

“It wasn’t a stillborn baby,” Bussey said.

The autopsy has been sealed at the request of the Oceanside Police Department, a spokesperson for the San Diego County medical examiner said. Neither the police detective heading the investigation, Ryan Malone, nor the prosecutor, Chantal De Mauregne, returned phone calls from The Coast News.

Both of the suspect’s parents, Howard and Shande Carpenter, are former Carlsbad police officers. Shande Carpenter, more recently an investigator for the Los Angeles County public defenders’ office, said her law enforcement background gives her a unique vantage point on the case.

“It gives me a very clear perspective. I know where both sides are coming from and I know she didn’t do any crime, but that’s all I can say,” Shande Carpenter said by telephone one night this week as she prepared to put her grandson, Kelsey’s child, to bed.