No matter how much you try to avoid them, accidents will always happen, and when one has multiple young children running around the house, they tend to happen with much more frequency.
Young Mother Ka Yang had four children and a full plate. She was trying her best to balance work, family life, and her health, and was succeeding. Yet, when we try to handle everything at once, things fall to the wayside slightly, and she was about to find out the cost of doing too much….
Day in Court
The courtroom was buzzing with anticipation. The defendant, a 29-year-old Asian mother of four, was sitting down, nervously staring at the courtroom. Anyone who saw her would have noticed two things: one, she was frightened out of her mind and two, that something wasn’t quite right with her.
The trouble that led to this unusual courtroom scene happened on what would have been a normal Monday in Sacramento, California. It was the 17th of March and the 911 had received a call from the home of Ka Yang, who told them that she needed them that she needed to come to her house right away…
Ya Kang was married and had four children all of whom were under 7 years old. It wouldn’t have been easy for any mother, let alone one who was still working at least part time at a local architectural firm. Still, there were plenty of families who did the same thing, and Ka Yang was used to the chaos.
Paramedics and police officers rushed to the Yang household to see what had happened. At the scene, paramedics found the young mother inconsolable and holding the lifeless body of her 2-month-old daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo. Something had indeed gone very wrong, because the baby in her arms appeared to have been severely burned…
Once they had managed to calm her down and wrestle the baby from her grip, the paramedics attempted to resuscitate little Mirabelle Thao-Lo. Sadly, it was too late, whatever happened to her had claimed the infant’s life. The police asked her what had happened and she told them that she was holding Mirabelle at the computer when she lost consciousness.
Ka told investigators that she believed she had blacked out from an epileptic seizure while holding Mirabelle in her arms. It made sense, her medical records show that she has had a pattern of seizures since she was 14 years old. She thought that the medicine she was on could control the condition though. She was wrong…
Ka explained to the police that when she came out of her seizure, she looked around frantically for her baby and found her on the floor, beside a space heater. It seemed the infant had managed to move into the heater and had burned herself so severely that she had been beyond her help. So she called 911, albeit a little too late.
Investigators were unsure what to believe. Ka Yang could certainly be telling the truth and had a seizure which caused her to drop the baby. Yet, she didn’t seem disoriented when they arrived, just upset. Also, little Mirabelle’s pajamas seemed mysteriously intact for having been burned by the heater and her hair was unsinged as well. What else could it have been though…
The police, while inclined to believe the grieving mother, decided to err on the side of caution and searched the residence. What they found was shocking to say the least. Little Mirabelle’s pacifier was in the microwave. That, coupled with all the severe thermal injuries to her body, pointed towards Mirabelle being burnt alive in the device.
How it Works
Microwave ovens were invented as a way to heat food quickly. They work so well and so efficiently because they channel heat energy directly to the molecules inside food and heat it much like the sun would heat your face: with radiation. Unfortunately, they also do the same thing to living matter as well…
An autopsy was ordered and the forensic experts discovered even more evidence of that gruesome and unbelievable theory. It seemed that radiation, most likely from a microwave, had literally cooked Mirabelle’s small intestine and stomach. Dr, Gregory Reiber, a pathologist, believed that the infant’s mother had put her in the microwave for up to five minutes.
When presented with this evidence, Ka Yang only flinched for a second. Then, unable to fight the truth any longer, she confessed that she had lied. She had found the baby in the microwave after the seizure. She added that she believed she might suffer from multiple personalities as well and that’s why she didn’t remember doing it at first. But was she just lying again?
It sounds absolutely unbelievable that someone, outside of a horror movie villain, could possibly do something as horrific as placing a baby in a microwave. Even more terrifying is the fact that this way of killing someone would be excruciating. Thankfully…I suppose anyway…placing a baby in a microwave is quite rare and only three instances of it have ever been reported.
Ka Yang’s admission of guilt was not the cut-and-dry case that the police and prosecutors hoped. After all, what if she was right? What if she did indeed have multiple personalities or lose control during a seizure? Prosecutors had another theory. They believed that Yang put the baby in the microwave because she was being fussy and stopping her from doing work on the computer…
Ka Yang’s day in court came and went and despite all the evidence of seizures in her past, most of the jurors and indeed the people in the courtroom, didn’t believe that she could have microwaved her baby by accident. She hadn’t done it with any of her other children and had never shown any other signs of multiple personalities.
Didn’t Make Sense
Yet the fact that she had never hurt any of her other children did nothing to alleviate the jury’s confusion. Yang had never so much as hit the other three kids and had no criminal history. Her defense team jumped on these facts, describing her as a gentle woman who just didn’t know what she was doing…
In the end, the doubt the jury felt was not enough to save her. KaYang was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 26 years to life. Yang’s attorney Linda Parisi came out after the verdict to speak on behalf her client and implore the appeals committee to reconsider, because whatever the crime, she did not deliberately kill her daughter.
Clear Mental Issues
Mrs. Parisi also went on to express doubts about her client’s mental health in general. “I think there is no question there is clearly some psychological issues that will have to be investigated.” Whether or not that will ultimately allow for an early parole, remains to be seen. As for Yang’s other children…
Family Moves On
Since her arrest and subsequent incarceration, Ka Yang’s three surviving sons are in the care of family members. They were removed from the home the day their sister was found dead but continue to support their mother from afar.
Keeping an Eye
In all of this, it is perhaps most important to remember that mental illness is something that most people who suffer from it cannot help. It’s up to us to help our loved ones get through these trials and keep an eye out if they begin to unravel. That way tragedies like this will be less and less likely to occur.