Criminal charges filed in Fayette County for child endangerment causing death

After an 11-month investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance from Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), state and county medical examiner’s office and the Fayette County Attorney’s Office, criminal charges were filed against Joshua Rueben Christen, 33, of Postville for child endangerment causing death, a Class “B” felony, of his four-month-old daughter.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s office along with the Elgin Ambulance service responded to a residence on 245th Street North of Elgin on Sept. 2, 2022, for four-month-old female unresponsive and not breathing. The child was transported to Palmer Hospital in West Union where she was pronounced dead.

After an investigation, it was determined that Christen, while caring for the child, was under the influence of a narcotic. An autopsy revealed that the child had methamphetamine in her system at the time of death. It was determined that the defendant knowingly acted in a manner causing the death of his four-month-old daughter by the means of asphyxiation. 

Christen has been in the Fayette County Jail since May 3, 2023, on unrelated charges and is awaiting his initial appearance in court on the new charges. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison. This case remains under investigation and more charges may be filed at a later date.

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