- Linn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn County
Rylee Marie Gray
Rylee Marie Gray
1614 Park Towne Ln. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Date of Crime: December 23, 1994
Date of Death: December 25, 1994
Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing
Two-year-old Rylee M. Gray was taken to St. Lukes Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Dec. 23, 1994, suffering from injuries to her head, buttocks, and extremities.
Doctors discovered the toddler had a subdural hematoma and brain swelling, and despite rushing her into emergency surgery, the child died Christmas Day.
Investigators arrested Matthew Lewis, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, Elise Gray, and charged him with Rylee’s murder; the young girl had previously been injured while in his care.
At Lewis’s trial, however, it was revealed that on the night before the child died, he had had an argument with Elise Gray and that Gray had left their apartment in anger, slamming the little girl into her carseat hitting her in the head with a diaper bag.
The child’s injuries, the defense attorney argued, could have been inflicted at that point on the child, who then slowly sank into unconsciousness over the next 24 hours.
It also was revealed that Gray was a less than stellar mother to the little girl, often moving in with men she’d just met and then moving out just as quickly. In addition, the defense alleged Gray took drugs and drank alcohol in the child’s presence.
The jury acquitted Matthew Lewis of murder charges and no one else was ever charged with Rylee’s death.
According to one source, the only person who really seemed to mourn the child’s passing was her grandfather, Don Gray, of Central City.
Rylee was born July 29, 1992.
If you have any information about Rylee’s death, please contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 319-286-5378 or direct your message to Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form.
- Kimberly Frazier
- “Homicide was C.R.’s 6th in ’94: Police to ask for arrest warrant in stabbing death,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 1, 1995
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