Teen mother arrested on first-degree murder in death of 2-month-old child


The mother of a two-month-old girl found dead in Rothville last month has been arrested.

Sergeant Eric Brown with Troop B of the Highway Patrol reports the Chariton County Circuit Court issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of 19-year-old Sarah Linebaugh of Rothville for felony first-degree murder in the death of Sophia Linebaugh.

The Patrol made the arrest, and Sarah Linebaugh is being held at the Chariton County Jail. Her bond was set $100,000 cash only, and online court information shows no surety is allowed. Brown notes a court date is pending.  The warrant for Linebaugh was issued following an investigation of the March 18th death of her daughter. The Chariton County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control in the investigation.

Brown previously reported the Chariton County Sheriff’s Office and Ambulance, as well as the Patrol, were called to a 911 call for help in the 300 block of Main Street in Rothville March 19th where deputies found the child deceased upon arrival. Investigators say Linebaugh strangled her daughter, but she claims the infant drowned while being given a bath.

Sarah Linebaugh had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was hospitalized for treatment of her injuries, which delayed the process of filing charges. He clarifies Sophia Linebaugh was not shot, and the cause of her death was not a gunshot wound.

An autopsy was scheduled soon after the incident to determine the cause of death for the two-month-old, but Brown notes a final report has not been received.