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  • The Des Moines Register

    13-year-old Iowa girl's death was result of 'gun play,' county attorney says

    By José Mendiola, Des Moines Register,

    30 days ago

    The fatal shooting of a 13-year-old in Eldora in April was unintentional and a result of “gun play," Hardin County Attorney Darrell Meyer said.

    Meyer identified the victim as Keeley Baer of Eldora. Her friend, an unidentified 12-year-old suspect, was still in custody as of Monday morning.

    The Eldora Police Department and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 800 block of 12th Street in Eldora at around 5:30 p.m. on April 14 for a report of a shooting. Baer was found dead at the scene.

    Investigators determined the shooting was unintentional and was a result of “gun play,” Meyers said. Investigators concluded the boy found the pistol in his home, where the shooting took place.

    Baer was shot one time, Meyers said.

    Meyers declined to comment whether the 12-year-old's parents are facing charges after the shooting. He also declined to comment on a charge the pre-teen is being held on. Iowa law only requires law enforcement to release names of and charges against juvenile suspects if the crime would be considered a forcible felony if they were an adult.

    Baer’s father declined to comment when reached by the Register.

    Baer, who excelled academically in South Hardin Middle School and aspired to become a doctor, brought joy and laughter to all who knew her, according to her obituary.

    “Keeley's vibrant personality captured the hearts of everyone around her,” the obituary said. “Her contagious smile and playful silliness could light up any room. Known as everyone's best friend, Keeley had a unique ability to make people feel valued and seen.”

    A GoFundMe has been started for Baer’s family. Funds will go toward funeral expenses and meals for the family.

    José Mendiola is a breaking news reporter for the Register. Reach him at

    This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: 13-year-old Iowa girl's death was result of 'gun play,' county attorney says

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