A baby died of a painful rash after his parents left him in a dirty diaper for so long it became infested with maggots, a court heard.

Sterling Koehn was found dead in a swing last August, with investigators discovering the four month-old’s heavily soiled diaper had been left on for up to two weeks, meaning it had attracted bugs, which laid eggs.

Those then hatched into maggots, with Sterling suffering such a severe diaper rash that his skin ruptured, causing the deadly e.Coli bacteria to set in.

Four month-old Sterling Koehn died of an extreme diaper rash after his parents left him unchanged for up to 14 days, a court heard (Picture: Facebook)

According to the Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier, prosecutor Coleman McAllister told jurors during his opening Tuesday: ‘He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash.’

Sterling’s father Zachary Koehn, 29, is now on trial over Sterling’s death in August 2017.

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Reed Palo, a deputy with Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office, attended Sterling’s autopsy and told of how maggots and larva of different colors were discovered as the medical-examiner removed layers of soiled blankets and clothing from the baby.


He said: ‘As the diaper came off, you could see the skin had broken down.

‘It just looked like it had been there a long time.’

Sterling’s father Zachary Koehn is now on trial charged with the baby’s murder (Picture: Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office)

First responder Tina Shatek, who attended the scene after Koehn called 911, also told of how she found Sterling dead with his eyes open – and recalled how gnats flew off the infant’s corpse when she moved his blanket.

Meanwhile, Koehn’s former friend Jordan Clark told jurors Wednesday that he knew the alleged killer had a two year-old daughter, who lived at the apartment and appeared to be well cared-for.

But he had no idea that Koehn also had a baby boy with girlfriend Cheyanne Harris, 20, despite visiting their apartment in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on numerous occasions.

According to the Hawk Eye, Clark also told how Koehn and Harris were regular crystal meth users, and would buy $20 to $40 of the drug from him each week.

He claimed that on the morning of Sterling’s death Koehn called him claiming he was desperate to find a black bag containing meth and a scale.

Sterling’s mother Cheyanne Harris has also been charged with his murder, and will stand trial separately (Picture: Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office)

After Sterling’s body was found, investigators discovered that he had been left in the soiled diaper for between nine and 14 days.

The baby was ruled to have died of the infection caused by the diaper rash, as well as malnutritition and dehydration.

Koehn’s trial continues. Harris will face the same charges at a separate upcoming trial.