VAN WERT — The parents of a young Middle Point girl who died in an accidental shooting in April have been charged with endangering children.
Middle Point residents Richard (Curtis) Moore and Kaitlyn Burgoon were arraigned Wednesday in Van Wert Common Pleas Court. Both entered a not guilty plea to the third-degree felony charge lodged against them.
A pre-trial hearing for Richard Moore has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on July 1. A similar hearing for Kaitlyn Burgoon will be held that day at 10:20 a.m. Both defendants were released on a surety bond following Wednesday’s arraignment.
The couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Aubrie Moore, died April 9 after reportedly gaining access to a handgun in the residence.
A 911 call was placed to the Van Wert County dispatch at approximately 1:30 p.m. April 9 in reference to a young girl who had been shot. The child was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center by Middle Point EMS and was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to a statement issued by Van Wert County Sheriff Tom Riggenbach on the day of the incident.
An autopsy on the child’s body was performed by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office and, according to Heather Lee, an investigator for the Allen County Coroner’s Office, the preliminary autopsy report showed Moore died of a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death, Lee said, was described in the report as a “suspected accident.”
Van Wert County Prosecuting Attorney Eva Yarger said following the incident, “This appears to be a tragic accident, but we have not reached any conclusions at this point. The incident is still under investigation, and we have not ruled out whether other further factors were involved, such as negligence or child endangering.”