The abuse and murder of baby Alissa

Alissa GuernseyAlissa Guernsey was born on November 2, 2007 in Columbia City, Indiana and was the youngest of three siblings. She was a happy baby girl who had just celebrated her first birthday in November of 2008. Sadly, that same month her father,  Michael Guernsey, was killed in a fatal car accident.

Alissa’s mother, Kelli Sprunger, was devastated at the loss. She had a history of drug dependency and depression and felt the death of her children’s father was too much to handle and that she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to properly care for her three kids so her cousin, Christy Shaffer,  volunteered to “care” for them while she got back on her feet.

But Sprunger didn’t get back on her feet, instead, she fell deeper into depression which caused her drug addiction to spiral out of control. She was also barely keeping in touch with DCYF/caseworkers. She was thankful that Christy volunteered to help watch over her kids when she could not.


Photo of Kelli Sprunger with a small heart-shaped photo of her daughter, Alissa, in the corner

Alissa and her brothers were placed into state custody in Steuben County, IN. Shortly after, they were placed under the care of Matt and Christy Shaffer in Topeka, La Grange County, IN.

The Shaffer’s were not properly screened to see if they qualified as guardians but because they were relatives, DCYF figured that would suffice.

Prior to being placed with her aunt, Alissa Guernsey looked like your typical happy, healthy, bubbly baby girl. She was getting on her feet and all it took was a smile to get her to smile back. She was entering the early toddler stages of her life and like any young child, she loved exploring and playing with her brothers. But in the weeks ahead she would change to a completely different child. She would look battered, scared and withdrawn.


Alissa’s appearance before and after being placed in Christy Shaffer’s (far right) care

Shaffer immediately singled out Alissa, which was most likely due to her age and the fact that she was the most defenceless of the three children. Alissa had just celebrated her first birthday and being just one, she wasn’t able to speak and Shaffer liked the idea of having her own silent punching bag.

Alissa was harassed and yelled at on a daily basis. She was pushed if she wasn’t moving fast enough, shoved if she was in the way, pinched just for the mere heck of it, kicked, slapped, etc. You name it this little girl endured it.

Alissa had cigarettes placed out on her multiple times but one of Shaffer’s favorite things to do was grab her by her hair and smash her little head against anything that was convenient and if there wasn’t anything convenient she would use the floor. By January 2009 her hair had bald spots due to being ripped out and she had bruises from head to toe, each in different stages of healing which help authorities later determine that the little girl was tormented over a long period of time.

Shaffer was extra callous and manipulating. To avoid detection she started taking  Alissa to doctors to try to find some type diagnoses, telling the doctors that she bruised easily and that her hair was falling out. She had been to specialists in Elkhart and Riley’s Children Hospital, none of which could ever find anything medically wrong with her after multiple rounds of blood testing.

During this time Christy Shaffer kept Alissa’s mother from visiting with her, but not with her other two children. She always made excuses, telling the mother that Alissa was sick or sleeping.

Staffer wanted people to believe that Alissa had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or was born a meth/crack addicted baby and that was the reason she was “clumsy and always bruised” – According to the doctor and tox screen reports. Alissa was perfectly healthy. You can clearly see the before and after pictures of Alissa, she was perfectly happy and healthy with her mother, and turned in to a different baby with Christy Shaffer.

Alissa’s little body put up a fight for three long torturous months until one day she finally succumbed to the brutality that was unleashed upon her by her own aunt.

On March 28, 2009, Shaffer was driving, Alissa was in her car-seat behind her. There were other children in the vehicle including Alissa’s two brothers. Sometime during that car ride Christy became frustrated and angry with Alissa and started beating her and grabbing the screaming baby by her hair, banging her head multiple times against the car seat hard enough to cause fatal injuries. After multiple wacks she started losing consciousness. She was beaten into a coma.

Her lifeless body was strapped back into her car seat as Shaffer casually proceeded to go rent a movie, then drive to a nearby McDonald’s drive-thru to order happy meals for the rest of the children, including Alissa’s two brothers who had just witnessed their baby sister’s murder. Christy then proceeded to drive to her house, paying no attention to her nieces lifeless, stiff body.

When she arrived to her house in Topeka she let all the children out of the vehicle and got them situated in the house. She then went back to get Alissa’s body. During this time-frame she never once called an ambulance but did decide to call her brother several hours after the vicious attack.

Her brother was an EMT so he had some knowledge about what to do. He rushed to the house and noticed immediately that Alissa was cold to the touch, unresponsive with no heartbeat. He contacted 911 and performed CPR until emergency crew got there.

Alissa was then rushed to the hospital where a team of doctors desperately tried to save the little girl for 45 minutes. Despite their hardest efforts baby Alissa was pronounced dead on March 28, 2009 at 9:54p.m. She was fifteen months old.

Alissa Guernsey

An autopsy declared her death a HOMICIDE.

Two medical examiners concluded that Alissa had been deceased hours before arriving to the emergency room. They went on to say that her injuries prior to her death could have only been caused by a prolonged pattern of abuse. She was covered in bruises, marks and lacerations. Her internal injuries were just as horrific as her external injuries. Most of the marks were focused on her little head. Her arm was broken which meant this little child was in agonizing pain prior to her death. The insides of her mouth gouged into two open sores.

Christy Shaffer was arrested but never charged with her murder. Instead, she was only convicted of a singular count of a Class B Felony and neglect of a dependent. Her sentence? 77 days in jail.

The sentence outraged thousands of people in the community. Even to this day people are petitioning and creating memorial pages on numerous social media websites. The community surrounded the streets with picket signs similar to the one below. The “justice” system has not brought justice to Alissa Guernsey but the community has, and they’ve come together to make sure Alissa’s death doesn’t go down in vain.


Join Lock Up Christy Shaffer, a Facebook page created which has over 5,000 ‘likes’. On the page you will find photos of Alissa smiling in her daddy’s arms as well as memorial photos by others who were touched by her life.

Another page, Baby Alissa Cries 4 Justice, which is one of the many memorial pages on Facebook, has a whooping 100K likes.






There are many photos on Baby Cries 4 Justice including this one. The admin of the page wrote under the following saying;

This is a quote made by Judge Vanderbeck in the article in the South Bend Tribune “Was the Judge to Lenient” by Virginia Black… Photo Courtesy of Google Images***

“I’m not tipping my hand and suggesting that I know what I’m doing yet as to the ultimate resolution, I’m just — you don’t get faced with stuff like this and these people are being nice and if you take their side, and something tragic would happen with a child and a ticking time bomb — ah — that doesn’t make them bad, it kind of just makes them at the wrong place at the wrong time,” VanDerbeck said at one point, according to the transcript.

Alissa’s Army wants to know Judge Vanderbeck, How can you be so HEARTLESS?? Calling Alissa a “ticking time bomb”?? Alissa was PERFECTLY HEALTHY when she was placed in Christy’s care!!! There was NO MEDICAL REASON for any of her injuries and bruising!! This is documented by health professionals!!! How can you say Christy was in the wrong place at the wrong time??? SHE DID THIS!! How can you DEFEND a child KILLER?? YOU sir, have it backwards!! Alissa was in the wrong place at the wrong time and Christy was the TICKING TIME BOMB!!! I see a BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST! YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RIGHT!! Christy should be CHARGED ACCORDINGLY!! WE ARE NOT BACKING DOWN!!! This one statement is the reason the world is OUTRAGED!! JUSTICE FOR ALISSA!!!

UPDATE: ALISSA’S PETITION on Whitehouse.Gov ended on January 14, 2013 and achieved its goal of going over 25,0000 signatures. (26, 892 to be exact) — Thank you to everyone who took the time to sign the petition, which can now be sent to the Obama Administration.


Rest In Peace Alissa B. Guernsey (November 2, 2007 – March 28, 2009)


52 responses to “The abuse and murder of baby Alissa

    • Outragious she wants hanging that poor baby girl the suffer she was going through its sick and the judge wants to be ashamed she should of died in prison shes a baby killer and the judge is just as bad poor little girl theres some really sick evil twisted people in this world I hope she gets her come uppance

    • that shaffer is so mean, heartless, and evil to the core. the shaffer will never make it to heaven… the shaffer t belongs to the underworld. I hope gets what is coming to her. which shaffer will be punished.

  1. What is the police & courts doing is this town? They really should be ashamed of there selves…….God Bless that little girl’s soul……..

  2. She needs to be in jail for life, for the murder of Alissa. Some people go to jail for more time for stealing a candy bar or a car. This lady only did 77 days in jail for killing a baby girl>:,( This world is a pice of crap! We can’t live in peace we can’t depend on a judge to do their job right and punish the people for their crimes! God now has a ANGEL:)

  3. I am emotionally and physically devastated for that precious little angel. She was a gift from God. It breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what that baby went through. I cannot understand how that evil demon is not in prison for what she has done. She has to pay for such a cruel and evil crime. She will stand in front of God one day. But she has to be severely punished for what she has done.

  4. It is horrible what happened to this baby girl. The person responsiblefor doing this should be punished for harming a beautifullittle baby

  5. That thing should be out into a room with me and ill show her the same treatment she showed that angel baby. She is despicable and should be slaughtered like the cow she is.

  6. This women needs to be jailed and restricted to never being in the same room with a child of any age. What the hell was Indiana thinking? If this is how they treat the homicide of any child, I’m glad I don’t live in Indiana. Get your shit together,her Indiana. Convict this women. She is a murderer!!!!

  7. I am sick just reading that.. that horrible evil person should be put in jail for the rest of her life and never be allowed to be near any child again! Maybe this is a good case for an eye for an eye. Poor little girl had to live her short life with a monster and she got less time than someone who gets a DWI. Honestly??!!? What the hell is wrong with Indiana? How about the people who let her serve such a short time, think about how you would react if that was your child? Your niece? Your grandchild? That sick women needs to be put away.

  8. I know Alissa’s story, I red about on the net about 6 months ago. I signed a petition for her hoped she will get justice and that evil woman goes where she belongs: to the jail. There was a facebook site by Alissa’s Army which suddenly disappeared so I don’t know what’s happend after that (it was some dispute over the site). I was touched by this sweet little baby, my son at the similar age. I wish I could be there to save her! I will never ever forget her lovely face and that awful pictures of her at the end. You can see a baby battered to death, who actually looks “happy” and peaceful because nobody can abuse her anymore. 😦 It breaks my heart! I’m so angry bacuse this evil woman gets away with Alissa’s murder! She MUST be punished!

    (Sorry for my English, I’m Hungarian)

  9. I live in western australia and i swear if nothing is done about this i will rally a petition here in australia and i know if there is another country involved something should be done… I wish i could have just 30 mins with that creature and make her suffer what alissa had to go through in three months. 30 mins and she will be begging for her life! If christy lived in australia i can tell you now she would be doing 5 life sentances and getting a beating everyday, child abuse is foul and discusting. She will get what is coming to her protective custody cannot protect you forever christy!! YOU WILL SUFFER AND PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE EVEN IF IT MEANS YOU DIE THE WAY POOR ALISSA DID!! I hope your own children hate you and are scared of you because you are not worthy of the title Mother! You foul beast of a human being!! THE WORLD HATES YOU CHRISTY SHAFFER!

  10. wow that is a horrible story, if i didnt know the truth i would be mortified!! too bad 90%+ of it is pure b.s. the author of that should win an award for painting such a horrible picture, not to mention, creating such a wild tale.

    i mean if we start with simple errors like…. Alissa wasnt Christys niece, she was like her 2nd cousin (Christys cousins baby) or that Alissa wasnt the youngest of 3 she was the youngest of 5 or that Alissa and her 1 sister & 1 brother (not 2 brothers) were left with Christy (the other 2 siblings were already taken from their mother years prior) or that the 3 children were never in Steuben Co DCS custody, their mother abandoned them at her cousin, Christys, home (a weekend turned into Kelli disappearing for 3 weeks b4 DCS stepped in)…. i mean really if these simple facts are wrong in this story, dont you think a lot of the rest of it is untrue also??? just sayin.

    you all do know that a grand jury handed down these charges…. right? not just the prosecutor. and iIF for one second any ONE of you, intelligent beings, think for yourself & stop the mob mentality b.s., things just dont add up, that this child was abused for months and DCS, CASA, multiple drs & specialists, countless nurses/medical staff, tons of family members, the other 6 children & practically an entire community were ALL tricked/manipulated/lied to by one Ms Christy Shaffer????!!!!!

    OMFG she must be a damn genius, some grandious criminal mastermind!!!!

    just sayin…..

    • Ann you must be a family member of Christy. It does not matter. What matters is that a 16 month old child was murdered. What a sad excuse of a human being who defends child murder.

      • I read in an article that the female child murderer’s father is good “friends” with the local prosecutor, which is why she got off with a light sentence. Also, in Indiana there are secret clubs everywhere, to get you anything you want. I know, as I am from there and it’s a scary place.

    • omg shes a sick bitch how can you stick up for her that baby went through pure hell I hope you don’t have kids ann pulling her hair out from the roots cutting her mouth breaking her arm look at her body its batterd for god sake.

    • It in the proof of the story THE PICTURES that have people so angry and heartbroken not. If this monster is her blood aunt. cousin. neighbor or stranger. You are just a. fool for leaving a comment like this here.

  11. this lady needs life.. maybe even death… i cant believe this can happen, even to a baby… this just makes me so mad and only 77 dayz, thats just b.s there. its murder she did and times she should do… r.i.p to the baby girl alissa!

  12. She needs to be locked up for the rest of her life. A child does not ask to be here but to be loved as a human being. She had No right to take little girl’s life

  13. …. She out there… a Murderer > free. I would like to show her the same courtesy showed to baby Alissa. a slower. and more intense painful death.

    >Raging Mother.

  14. Guys on Facebook there is a page called and you can sign 2 petitions to get this BITCH the jail sentence she deserves …. Poor sweet angel… RIP now sweet heart xxxx

  15. Look if you want the “REAL STORY” from ALISSA’S MOTHER KELLI instead of BS hearsay from people who don’t know anything but what other people say and spread all of the internet, why don’t you go to “77 DAYS FOR MURDER” this is Alissa’s Uncle Tyler’s page and Kelli comments on there or you can go to “Alissa Guernsey: Please Help Stop the Explotation Of Baby Alissa.” I assure everyone that these 2 Facebook pages are the ones that speak the TRUTH of Alissa of what has happened. I learned alot about Alissa’s Mother Kelli and what kind of person and mother she is just by goiung to the “Aliss Guernsey: Please Help Stop the Explotation of Baby Alissa” and I’m glad I did. Please I encourage each and everyyone of you go to these 2 pages and find out the REAL TRUTH for yourselves and stop believing what you hear from other pages that don’t know or aren’t related to Alissa or the Family!!!!!!

    • we got the real story that baby was totured to and then had her head smashed in by her so called cousin who got away with it if your related wheres your fight to have her locked up.

  16. I will tell you what’s wrong with this town. It’s a good ole boy system. They all drink and smoke cigars together, know who eachother is cheating on their wives with, and all have a disgusting secret (or more) on eachother. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. You don’t charge my daughter with murder, and I won’t tell about your secret gay life. You let my daughter out of prison early, and I won’t cue your wife in on those cocaine fueled parties with strippers and hookers that you have, when you’re out of town on ‘business’. The only way that this sweet child will ever have justice in her name, is to remove these power drunk, teenage-mindset, jackasses from their thrones. Anyone can look at all the evidence, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christy murdered, or knows who murdered sweet Alissa. Whether or not she’s ever convicted of murder, justice will one day, be served. Rest in peace, sweet Alissa. And I hope that wherever you are, you know that there are a lot of good people that would never hurt you, and that love you. No matter if we ever met…

  17. Pingback: Pneumonia Or Murder? The Death of Baby Breanna Loveless |

  18. I’ve been studying Alissa’s story for almost a year now and have heard nothing about cigarette burns. Where did you get your information? I appreciate you sharing Alissa’s story ❤ but Alissa had 4 siblings..3 brothers and 1 sister…only the sister and one brother went with her to Christys…the others were already out of Kelli's custody. While I agree Christy is the killer and NAMED BY POLICE…some parts of your story aren't lining up with facts. Thanks for taking the time for Alissa, JUSTICE FOR BABY ALISSA. Also a good resource -check out babyalissacries4justice on FB…the only 100% factual FB page with daily updates.XO

    • Hi Katherine,

      I have Baby Alissa Cries for Justice posted above. Also, I’m going to search for the article that spoke about cigarette burns. I’ve gathered the information above threw various articles on the case however, since you’re the second person to tell me that she never actually got burnt with cigarettes I’m starting to assume that detail was probably the source of rumors escalating. If so, I’m going to erase that detail so Alissa’s story stays as accurate as possible.

  19. You must be family/friend of “caretaker of the year” christy. FACT #1: The baby was not KILLED while in her mothers care. FACT#2: The baby was under christy’s care for 3.MONTHS before she was KiILLED. FACT#3: The bruises, etc are new. FACT #4: You defend a BABY KILLER. Then let her “care for” a little love one close to you. Let her show a baby you love the type.of.”love” she showed this baby! AUTOPSY REPORTS DONT LIE! BABY KILLERS DO!!!

  20. No one protected Alissa, her mother or her siblings. The resources in place to assist those families in crisis failed this entire family completely. It’s too bad Alissa’s extended family refused to help in time of their loved ones’ need….in time of their mourning of their father/husband.

    Christy is a baby killer. Judge VandeCorrupt is just that and Scott Wible is a Pu**y!!! What really bothers me 2nd, after Christy Shaffer, is that DCS is so quick to apprehend. Why didn’t they immediately offer support, housing, food and counselling?…full-time if need be short-term?

    Is it so much easier for the government to steal your child during a natural course of grieving than assist the family through their grieving so that in later years these individuals don’t bog down the system because of their mental state which the very people in place to help in time of need put them in?

  21. Fighting against the injustice done to Alissa Beth guernsey and 77 days for murder(run by family) are other pages u can learn about Alissa.

  22. she was one sick twisted bitch how can you rip hair out of a baby break its arm cut the inside of her little mouth and beat her she must of been so scared and sreaming in pain poor poor baby I hope she gets whats coming to her a slow painful death how comes no ones took revenge if I lived over there I would hunt that bitch down and do life I swear her family are just as sick sticking up for her load of losers.

  23. bloody hell wheres the justice for this dear baby she went through sheer hell how can that monster live with herself wheres her family are they not fighting this.

  24. This poor lil girl like the rest need help I worked for this one lady who was sexually abusing her daughter. She is only 7 and her older brother who was 21 was also abusing her the same way. When I meant this family I would have never thought I would be walking into this. This little girl after a year of me working for her mom came and told me what was going on cuz I told her I’m always here to help her and so as soon as I found out I called the police and stayed with this little girl until they got there they took the little boy n girl for a week or two and now this horrible woman has her kids back and is still doing this to them I’m still trying to help this girl out but don’t work for her any more I will still try to help her until justice is serived I’m not trying to make this about me but simply because there is children out there that still need help so even if u just see a bruse on there knees keep a close eye for them try to save them before u try to keep there story alive I have two beautiful children myselfso as a mother I know I would want my kids watched over not only by me but by the community save a life and keep looking out for the bad signs for all the beautiful kids infants children in the world just because there not urs still love them like they are.

    • It’s unreal the torture this baby endured. And only 77 days for a sentence for that piece of trash! SHE IS A WASTE OF SKIN!! And for all you idiots out there making up excuses for her..your trash just like she is! She don’t deserve to see the light of day! And I promise if this little girl was a family member of mine she would have never made it past day one out of jail! I would have taken care of her myself! What we should do is expose her picture in as many places as possible with the truth printed on it so that no matter where she goes..everyone knows what she has done! Evil, heartless, coward. Try that shit on someone your own size worthless BITCH! I hope you have nightmares so bad at night that you can’t sleep or eat! I have no one ounce of sympathy for your stupid ass! Idiot!!

  25. what would of happened if she abused and killed a puppy. i wonder. what was wrong with that judge. what if alissa was his granddaughter?

  26. Why is this woman not serving a life sentence.
    Children’s lives are not taken seriously enough.
    they are deemed as unproductive to the world, under developed,
    dependent and one less in the world-so what attitude prevails.

    That is why Josef Mengele, who tortured children to death, was never
    really taken seriously.

    Society must change laws, to see that an innocent such as this gets justice.

  27. This story breaks my heart. I’m so sick of hearing about these evil adults who can’t keep their hands off these innocent babies. My hope is that this abuser has nightmares every night for the rest of her life. True justice would be her having to endure the same torture she inflicted on this baby.

  28. Christy was not Alissa’s aunt. She is Kelly’s cousin which would make her Alissa’s second cousin. RIP sweet baby girl. My heart goes out to Kelly.

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