Averyauna Enoch on trial for the murder of stepdaughter
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) UPDATE 07/26/21: Witnesses from Reno were called to the stand in the Averyauna Enoch trial underway in Washoe District Court.
Enoch is accused of killing her five-year-old stepdaughter Cali Anderson and helping dispose of the body. The little girl was found dead in a duffel bag in a storage unit in Sacramento on May 15, 2018.
On the stand today, two UHAUL employees who told the jury, Enoch’s husband at the time, Tyler Anderson, rented a van on May 10, 2018. In surveillance video, Enoch and Anderson are seen at the counter renting a van on that date.
Brent Wetteland testified Anderson returned the van on May 12, 2018. Wetteland told the jury Anderson told him the additional miles on the van were due to a trip taken to Sacramento. Wetteland said the smell emitting from the back of the van was unbearable, something he said, he would never forget. He said there was white powder left behind along with some fluid in the van. He said he had difficulty removing the material from the vehicle if at all.
Earlier in the day Savanna Wimer took the stand. As a former manager of the Brooktree Apartments, she said she rented the 800 square foot apartment to the Anderson’s back in July 2017. Wimer told the jury even though the couple placed their children on the rental agreement, she rarely, if at all saw all of them. In the limited exchange she had with the Andersons, Wimer told the jury she never saw a child fitting the description of Cali Anderson.
Reno Homicide detective Michael Barnes says he was assigned to the apartment complex once the body was discovered in California and the connection to the Andersons was made by law enforcement. Detective Barnes told the jury he never made contact with Averyauna who was in the apartment on May 15, 2018. Barnes said he talked to residents though, living around the Anderson’s apartment #141. He said almost no one had contact with the couple or saw their children. One resident said she had seen a little girl from the residence. But the description did not match that of Cali. The detective said he was charged with looking into Cali’s medical records. He says the last wellness checkup on Cali Anderson was in in December 18, 2014 when she was more than two years old. Tyler Anderson was the adult to accompany Cali to the medical visits. Barnes said Cali was referred to a pediatric cardiologist during her last checkup. But Barnes testified Tyler Anderson cancelled the following appointment. Detective Barnes said medical records showed Cali Anderson weighed nearly 28 pounds on the December 2014 medical visit.
Last week Sacramento’s Chief Forensic Pathologist testified the five-year-old weighed 16 pounds at the time of autopsy. Dr. Jason Tovar told the jury Cali died of complications of malnutrition.
Averyauna Enoch is suspected of starving Cali Anderson. She told investigators the girl just stopped breathing and she and her husband tried to resuscitate the five-year-old.
Dr. Tovar told the jury there was no evidence of such lifesaving efforts evident during the autopsy.
UPDATE 07/23/21 Jurors viewed about a dozen autopsy photos of 5-year-old Cali Anderson during the trial Averyauna Enoch. Enoch is accused of murdering her stepdaughter. The little girl was found dead, stuffed in a duffel bag in a Sacramento storage unit in May of 2018.
Her stepmom, father and two half brothers lived in a Reno apartment on Harvard Way at the time of Cali’s disappearance.
Sacramento Chief Forensic Pathologist Dr. Jason Tovar told the jury today the five-year-old died of complications of malnutrition. He told the jury the five-year-old was three feet tall and only weighed 16 pounds at the time of autopsy. The measurement he said could not be calibrated on growth charts set down by the Centers for Disease Control. Tovar told the jury the girl’s internal organs were all underweight as well. During he autopsy Tovar said, he noticed injuries to the girl’s arms, legs, hips, and head.
Averyauna Enoch, formerly Anderson and her husband were arrest in May of 2018 for the murder of Cali Anderson. Tyler Anderson pleaded guilty to murder charges. Enoch is standing trial for murder in the first degree, child endangerment leading to death, and obstruction charges.
The trial enters its second week on Monday July 26.
Despite request being frequently approved for other trials, Judge Kathleen Drakulich forbid cameras in the courtroom for this case.
An appeal by local media was denied by Judge Drakulich yesterday.
UPDATE 07/22/21 Jurors in the Averyauna Enoch trial viewed autopsy photos of the body of 5-year old Cali Anderson in Washoe District Court this morning. The child weighed 16 pounds at the time of discovery.
Crime scene investigators from Sacramento Police Department told the jury of marking the storage room floor where boxes were located. Eventually the content of those boxes was cataloged at a separate location outside the storage unit.
Anderson’s body was inside two duffel bags fully clothed with some additional clothing. The child’s head had a knit cap on it, there were mismatched socks on the feet. A children’s bible was next to the body.
Crime scene investigator Staci Rossi said items from the cardboard boxes contained documents with the names of either Tyler Anderson, or his then wife Averyauna Anderson.
Later in the afternoon, Maylene Duenas, Tyler Anderson’s aunt testified she worried about his daughter Cali. She says there were plenty of family celebrations where Tyler, his wife, Cali and eventually their son Tyrell would attend.
But she told the jury, Averyauna withheld food from Cali during the celebrations saying they didn’t want Cali to get fat. At another family function in 2015, Duenas said she noticed bruises on Cali’s face.
She says she eventually contacted child protective services when the couple lived in Woodland California. After a couple of months she testified, she was told by authorities nothing was discovered and the case was closed.
Tyler and Averyauna moved to Reno and Duenas said she rarely saw the couple. She says she asked for pictures of now all three kids, Averyauna had given birth to another son Titus while in Reno. However she says the rare instances where a picture of Cali was sent to her, they were black and white, and blurry.
ORIGINAL STORY: A trial is underway for a woman accused of starving her stepdaughter to death and then helping her husband dispose of the body.
Averyauna Enoch faces first degree murder, child endangerment resulting in death, and obstruction charges. Her stepdaughter Cali Anderson, a five-year-old, was found dead in a duffel bag at a storage unit in Sacramento in May of 2018.
In opening arguments, prosecutor Kelly Kossow said Enoch was not cooperative with investigators at first. But later during questioning Kossow told the jury, Enoch told investigators Cali had stopped breathing and Averyauna and her husband at the time, Tyler Anderson, tried to revive Cali.
Tyler Anderson has already plead guilty in this case.
Defense Attorney Kendra Bertschy told the jury Averyauna loved her five-year-old stepdaughter. She said her client fed the child oatmeal, and despite what investigators say, Cali was not kept in a dog cage for days or months at a time in the Harvard Way apartment where the family lived. Bertschy said during opening arguments the evidence will show Tyler Anderson is the one who stuffed Cali’s body in a duffel bag and put it in the apartment’s closet for a time. Later Bertschy said, it was Tyler who arranged to rent a UHaul Van to take the five-year old’s body to Sacramento. Enoch, Bertschy said, was 23 at the time of the death, and was overwhelmed in a small apartment taking care of three children.
Tyler Anderson’s relatives told investigators Averyauna kept the five-year-old away from them, and when they asked the stepmom about Cali’s whereabouts, she replied Cali was in daycare. One of those day care facilities was opened 24 hours relatives say Enoch told them.
Kossow told the jury, the last time anyone physically saw Cali was in the fall of 2017. Medical records on the child stopped in 2014, when Cali was 2 years old. At the time she weighed 24 pounds. Kossow told the jury the Sacramento Chief Pathologist will testify Cali weighed 16 pounds at the time of autopsy.
Bertschy told the jury of instructions given to passengers on an airline. To place the mask on yourself first, and then assist the child. “The 2018 evidence will show, Bertschy went on, “Cali ran out of oxygen. Tragedy followed,” she told the jury.
Late in the afternoon after opening arguments, David Hartman, the General Manager of the storage facility on Glenrose Avenue in Sacramento took the stand. He choked back emotion when describing being alerted by client Joe Garcia of a dead baby in one of the storage units. Hartman testified he went inside unit 1005 and noticed an empty blue barrel. Taking his flashlight Hartman said the light illuminated flesh coming out of what he thought was a backpack.
Judge Kathleen Drakulich denied the request for cameras in the courtroom in this case. Such requests are frequently granted in Washoe District Court.
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