Rachel Tunstill, a mother who was serving dual life sentences for the cold-hearted murder of her newborn baby girl, Mia Kelly, with scissors, has died in HMP Styal, Cheshire.
Imprisoned for the brutal stabbing of her infant daughter and heartlessly discarding her in a kitchen trash can, Tunstill faced two life sentences, with the latter one handed down in 2019.
Authorities have now confirmed that Tunstill, who was incarcerated at HMP Styal in Cheshire, is deceased.
A representative announced, "Rachel Tunstill, an inmate at HMP Styal, passed away in custody on August 1, 2023. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate, as is standard with all deaths in custody." The details surrounding her death remain unclear at this time.
Rachel Tunstill's legal journey was fraught with twists and turns. Initially convicted of murder in June 2017 and given a life sentence, her conviction was later overturned by the Court of Appeal, who declared that lesser charges should have been explored.
However, in a retrial in February 2019, she was once more found guilty of murder, leading to another life sentence, this time with a minimum of 17 years behind bars.
Details that emerged during the trial at Liverpool Crown Court painted a chilling picture. Rachel Tunstill gave birth while her boyfriend was preoccupied playing video games in the adjoining room in January 2017.
She misled him, feigning a miscarriage, and then asked for scissors. In a horrifying act, she stabbed newborn Mia 14 times shortly after delivery.
The devastating examination revealed that the baby had been born alive but tragically succumbed to the injuries to her back, neck, and chest.
During the sentencing, Judge Mr. Justice King made the following statement: "This must have been a sustained and frenzied attack on a victim who because of her age was particularly vulnerable. Her duty to her newborn baby was to cradle and comfort her - not to stab her to death. There was here in my judgement concealment of the body, albeit short-lived and in addition there was undoubtedly the indignity which was wrought upon the body by disposing of it in the way she did."
He remarked that the conditions surrounding the killing on January 14, 2017, were "particularly harrowing…..What drove her to kill her baby in this way may never be known. She gave birth alone in the bathroom of the flat in Wellington Court, Burnley, she shared with Mr Ryan, her partner of nine years, to a full-term baby weighing six to seven pounds. She called for a pair of scissors which Ryan brought to her and she then, unknown to her partner, used these scissors to stab her baby to death."
Tunstill, who had a master's degree in forensic psychology, placed the body in a plastic shopping bag, then put that bag inside another before discarding it in the kitchen trash.
Afterward, she went back to the bathroom to clean up the blood, leaving the room immaculate. "She showed no emotion or remorse for stabbing her baby to death," stated Mr. Justice King. That evening, Tunstill casually watched television as her partner continued to play on his Xbox.
Adrian Usher, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, conveyed to MailOnline: "I can confirm that the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is investigating the death of Rachel Tunstill on 1 August 2023. We offer our condolences to her family and friends."
"I am unable to provide further comment at this time, as my office is now carrying out the live investigation. Our report into the investigation of Ms Tunstill's death will be published on our website after the inquest has concluded."