Tahlequah Daily Press

December 31, 2013

Pacheco charged with murder

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors on Monday formally charged a foster mother with first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl.

Delila Pacheco, 47, is being held without bond for the death of Alysa Horney.

Alysa was found unresponsive at Pacheco’s Woodall home in early December. She had reportedly suffered blunt-force trauma that caused a lacerated liver.

Several other children in Pacheco’s home, including Alysa’s older sister, were removed by the Department of Human Services after Pacheco was interviewed and arrested.

Authorities said details gathered during the investigation suggest Pacheco was tired of the girl’s fighting sleep and talking to herself at night, and Pacheco’s irritation may have played a role in the toddler’s death.

DHS officials are also reviewing the case. According to a deputy’s report filed in 2011, Pacheco was arrested that year for a domestic assault and admitted then that she had previously used illegal narcotics.

Charges were never filed in the assault, and Pacheco ultimately received DHS approval to be a foster parent for Alysa and her sister, who are related to Pacheco.

Alysa’s mother, Holly Horney, was going through drug rehabilitation when her children were placed into foster care. She told the Daily Press earlier this month she believed Pacheco, a cousin, would be a good fit for her children until she could get them back into her own care.

Court records show Pacheco is scheduled to make her initial appearance in Cherokee County District Court today in front of Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins.