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Dying Too Young: Rileigh Isabella Akeen

Oklahoman Modified: March 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm •  Published: March 25, 2009

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Name: Rileigh Isabella Akeen

Age: 7 months

Place of residence: El Reno

Died: Sept. 22, 2007

What Happened: Rileigh's skin was blue and she was not breathing when she arrived at Parkview Hospital. Police were told she had been found on the floor at the foot of a bed wedged between a metal dresser and a plastic file cabinet. A medical examiner's report ruled the death a homicide by “shaken impact syndrome.”

Shannon D. Allen, 33, has been charged in Canadian County District Court with first-degree murder. His trial is set for October.

Allen was at a house where Rileigh was staying while her mother was away. Allen was the boyfriend of a friend of Rileigh's mother.

Rileigh's mother, Ella Akeen, was training with the Army National Guard to be deployed to Iraq at the time of the death. She said she has not been the same since. She said doctors told her she cannot have more children.

Other: “I don't think you overcome something like this,” Akeen said. “Nobody knows what really happened. All they know is what is being said. I don't think I can move on until this (trial) is over. I deal with this every day.”

Dale Akeen, Rileigh's uncle, said he wants the trial to be over. The family felt as if a “bomb dropped” when finding out prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in the case against Allen.

“I just want to put this to a close so we can go on with our lives,” Dale Akeen said.

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