Family plans funeral for 3-month-old baby while Heath police investigate her murder

Court records show baby Bri'Anna had bruises covering her entire body. (Courtesy: Family)

The family of a murdered baby girl said Ryan Mosholder was a “ticking time bomb.” Now Mosholder, the infant’s father, is being held on a million dollars bond in the Licking County Jail.

Grandmothers from both sides of the family filed into Magistrate Maddie Klein’s courtroom Tuesday afternoon for the video arraignment. There was visible tension between the friends and relatives but no outbursts.

Calista Puryear says her daughter will be making funeral plans instead of playing with her baby girl. Puryear said Baby Bri’Anna was an angel.

“There’s no words. No thoughts that you can think of. But that little girl laying there, what she was probably going through. Struggling to breathe or whatever. I am just so angry at this moment.”

Puryear said Mosholder had issues for a long time and never got help for them. “He is just a time bomb. When is he gonna explode? And he exploded, and took it out on my granddaughter.”

Mosholder’s mother and other children said they had no comment for reporters.

Heath Police Chief Dave Haren said Mosholder had confessed to killing his child, and texted his brother about what happened. “He said he had done something unforgivable and that was going to jail for a long time.”

Haren said the autopsy shows the child had rib fractures, internal lacerations, contusions on the back of the skull, bruises on the front, back, upper back, torso, and buttocks. The child was found hidden in the apartment with blood coming from her nose and mouth. “It was in an upstairs bedroom in a closet, on a chest of drawers in the closet,” said Haren.

“He never called anytime. He never called before, he didn’t call when he thought the baby was injured. He didn’t call after he believed the baby to be dead,” said Haren.

Police said they tracked Mosholder down to his father’s house in Newark. Mosholder was also caring for baby Bri’Anna’s siblings and left them at the apartment when he fled.

Mattie Blake, a cousin of the child said, “it is just unbelievable. Why hurt a 3-month-old child that didn’t do nothing to you that is just starting life?”

Mosholder had been in trouble as a 17-year-old juvenile for stabbing a teenager and served time in detention. He had no adult record.

The murder case is expected to go to a Licking County grand jury. Mosholder stood silently in his orange jumpsuit at the jail video arraignment. The mother of his baby Keirstin Steele cried during the proceeding. Steele said she left the children with Mosholder while she was taking classes to become a nurse’s aide. “Yes he has a violent temper but I didn’t think it would get this out of control,” said Steele. “Why couldn’t he just call me? Why couldn’t he just take her next door or something?”

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