Local News

Infant choked on toilet paper, stepfather says in 911 call

Posted November 10, 2009

— A Raleigh man accused of sexually abusing and murdering his 10-month-old stepdaughter told a 911 dispatcher that the child choked on toilet paper, according to a 911 recording released Tuesday. (Hear an excerpt from the 6-minute 911 call.)

Joshua Andrew Stepp, 26, of 1223 Silver Sage Drive, Apt. 303, was charged Monday with first-degree sex offense and first-degree murder in the death of Cheyenne Emery Yarley.

Joshua Andrew Stepp 911 call released in infant homicide

Police responded to the 911 call shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday at Stepp's home, and paramedics transported the infant to WakeMed, where doctors pronounced her dead.

"My baby just swallowed a thing of toilet paper, and she's not breathing," he said in the 911 call. "I'm trying to, like, resuscitate her right now. Her heart is beating, but she's not breathing."

The dispatcher then tries to keep Stepp calm and walks him through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR until emergency help arrives.

During a first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Wake County District Judge Craig Croom appointed Stepp an attorney and set another court date for Dec. 1.

Family members of Stepp declined to comment about the arrest.

Stepp remained in the Wake County Jail Tuesday afternoon on a $500,000 secured bond for the first-degree sex offense charge. The murder charge carries no bond.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • fournilla Nov 12, 2009

    This is exactly the type of individual society can definitely do without. There I said it "Won't take it back"

  • familyfour Nov 11, 2009

    This is just a horrid story......

    That poor little girl.

  • penny for your thoughts Nov 11, 2009

    I know Josh and always thought he was a good guy, and someone who loved his kids. I feel incredibly sorry for this child and the family, and know nothing can bring her back. But I really hope that Josh is innocent of the charges as well. Please do not judge him without a trial

  • Diabolical Nov 11, 2009

    When your trying to resuscitate someone, don't you put your mouth on the victim to try to help them to breathe??? Is that what they are considering as a sexual assault? And, what if the child did put something in his or her mouth when he wasn't looking? Only takes a second for kids to get into things. And if he intentionally tried to assault this kid and killed him/her in the process than why would he even bother calling 911 and not dumping the child some where.

  • ncwriter2008 Nov 10, 2009

    I'd like to see if the news reporters could research as to whether this guy is a repeat offender. That would be interesting to know since the state is planning to release 20 plus lifers who are rapists and murderers. Most of the child sex offenders in this state (as you can see on the AG's sex offender search locator website) serve a mere fraction of their sentences, if any. It's ridiculous how little the state values our most innocent citizens--children.

  • Lee Nov 10, 2009

    Heres my question.....Why would he even call 911 after doing whatever he did to that helpless baby??? Just to deal with the news after I heard it yesterday, I was telling myself he had to be strung out on crack or whatever the worst street drug there is. But if he had enough cognitive ability to dail 911 and say the word resuscitate.
    As I look at my 11 month old....how could anybody.....? If I thought I could sit through it...I would volunteer for jury duty!

  • tracker Nov 10, 2009

    No trial for him... Just send him to the death chamber for the next immediate time slot available. Waste of time even commenting on this trash that should be immediately disposed of earth...

    To the baby angel who is in heaven now, I can only convince that you are in a better place than living in this earth with the kind of BIOLOGICAL PARENTS(and the ones surrounding them) you were to live with...

  • gembearer Nov 10, 2009

    SingleLensReflex-you must be either a very naive individual, or someone who has no knowledge of forensics. Criminals always leave something behind- DNA is a bid helper here- skin cells,hairs, body fluids. The usual indicators(of this kind of assault) also include the type and degree of physical injuries inflicted on the child. Wake up- they didn't just draw the suspects name out of the hat!

  • BIGDAWGShouse Nov 10, 2009

    I just puked!!!

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Nov 10, 2009

    chance- The father is a soldier and deployed right now.