Indianola resident allegedly involved in homicide-suicide

by Katie Anthony/Editor-in-chief Sylvia Koss/Social media and copy editor

Update: The Des Moines Register reports that Kelli Sly slit her wrists prior to running her vehicle into the concrete pillar and likely gave her son, Gavin, an overdose of medication for the purpose of allegedly killing him.


The few days leading up to the supposed homicide-suicide show a struggling Kelli Sly. Indianola police came to the apartment to check on her just 12 hours prior to the car accident after her estranged husband, Tim, and her mother called with concerns about Kelli’s well-being.

Kelli told the officers that she was not suicidal, that all was well, and the police left.

Within the next 12 hours, both she and Gavin were dead.

Gavin’s toxicology report should be out within the next week.


On Sunday, March 25, 23-year-old Kelli Sly of Indianola was involved in an alleged homicide-suicide.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Des Moines Police Department responded to a car accident in Des Moines at Southwest 63rd Street and the Highway 5 bypass.

“She was travelling southbound on 63rd Street,” said Brian Sher, detective sergeant with the Indianola Police Department (IPD). “She approached the bridge there at Highway 5 and struck the pillar on the west side of the road,” Sher said.

The initial investigation of the scene insinuates that Kelli, the driver of the vehicle, may have intentionally driven her car into the bridge pillar.

Kelli died at the scene of the accident.

Upon investigation of the vehicle, a child seat, but no child, was located in the vehicle and IPD was notified about the welfare of the child around 9 a.m.

Once IPD arrived at Kelli’s place of residence (1301 East 1st Avenue, across from Indianola High School), an officer knocked at the apartment door and when no one answered, the apartment manager let them into the room.

When the officer entered the room, they found 2-year-old Gavin Sly deceased in the apartment. While there is no official cause of death for Gavin, officials have ruled it a homicide.

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was called to process the apartment complex, which officials referred to as “very neat” and contained an envelope with items that are leading officials to believe that Gavin’s death was truly a homicide.

“There were some letters left in the apartment,” Sher said. “The apartment was very neat and organized and there were some things left to lead us to believe this.”

Family members have not had the opportunity to view the contents of the envelope, so specifics of what the envelope contained has not been released yet.

“There was an envelope left and it had several items in it,” Sher said. “There was no suicide letter, but there was some stuff we’re still examining that would lead us to believe that the mother did this.”

The Des Moines Police Department, DCI and IPD will be working together and further information will be released as it becomes available.

Autopsies will be performed on both Kelli and Gavin and the results of those will hopefully be released within the next week.