It’s not every day that a 10-year-old child is arrested, but a little girl’s horrific actions at a Wisconsin daycare lead to police having to detain her. The girl admitted she was responsible for the death of an infant at the daycare and she was put in juvenile custody and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, according to Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.
Police were called on October 30 by the caretaker at the daycare, who said a six-month-old boy was bleeding from his head and unresponsive. The child was taken to Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was later pronounced dead.
According to the Star Tribune, police questioned one adult and three children at the day care center, and they all named the 10-year-old as the suspect. The girl later admitted that she was holding the baby and dropped him, the child hit his head on a footstool and began crying.
According to Kowalczyk, the little girl panicked when the baby started to cry so she stomped on his head. The Tribune further reports that, according to a doctor who examined the baby, his injuries were not accidental and were consistent with child abuse. Injuries included multiple skull fractures.
The girl appeared in Chippewa County Circuit Court this week, wearing a black hoodie and handcuffs. Her biological parents were in court with her, though she had been removed from their home in September and placed in foster care.
The 10-year-old was staying with the family who runs the day care. Cash bond was set at $50,000.
The day care provider explained that she had put the baby down for a nap at around 3:00 p.m. and the two 6-year-olds and 10-year-old in her care arrived by school bus at 3:40 p.m. She took the children, except for the sleeping infant, outside and stated that the children were in and out of the house for short periods of time, according to the sheriff’s report obtained by WEAU 13 News.
She had told the children to stay out of the house because of the sleeping baby. She later found the 10-year-old sitting in the kitchen’s bay window by herself following the incident. The 10-year-old initially denied she harmed the baby but later confessed to her involvement.
District Attorney Wade Newell explained: “She stated she was holding the child and that’s when she dropped the child. The child hit its head on the footstool and then the child started crying and she panicked and didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to get into trouble and then she proceeded to stomp on the 6 month-old’s head.”
Among the many comments left about the case on social media were those who wondered why the childcare provider wasn’t there to prevent this from happening. One person explained, however: “I see a whole lot of where was the daycare provider? But seriously, maybe she had to pee? Maybe she was changing the diaper of a different child. Maybe making breakfast or lunch. You can not possibly have your eyes on every child at every moment. A 10 year old can easily remove an infant from a crib.”
Others, however, were less forgiving, with one commenter noting: “Was a childcare provider for 22 years, sometimes 12 kids… there is no excuse, should never have happened! Someone wasn’t doing their job!”