A Wisconsin woman allegedly running an unlicensed daycare program was charged with reckless homicide days after a six-month-old died days after she was taken from her care.
woman in Cudahy, Wisconsin has been arrested and charged with first degree reckless homicide after a six month old infant died soon just days after she was taken from her care. Carrie Heller, 30, was reportedly running an unlicensed daycare within her home.
On January 13, she had been taking care of the infant for the past three weeks and changed her story several times over the course of the investigation. If convicted, Heller could face a maximum sentence of 60 years.
First, Heller claimed she had fed the child three times that day and after the third feeding, changed her diaper. Then she told police the infant s body went stiff, her neck fell back and her eyes fluttered and rolled back while Heller was changing her diaper. When the infant was unresponsive, did not appear to be breathing and gasped a few times, Heller called 911.
Her story changed again when she wrote a detailed statement. The statement confirmed the infant was in good health prior to being dropped off at Heller s home and that the infant was fine all morning until she got her diaper changed. She added, however, that when the infant stopped breathing, she gently shook the infant and did not get a response. Then, she yelled for her husband and dialed 911.
Detectives then visited the Children s Hospital of Wisconsin and learned that the infant had a skull fracture to the right side of the head, subdural hemorrhaging and brain swelling. The infant s pupils were also not reacting to light and doctors determined the infant must have had significant forces to her head. The next day, a detective met with the infant s doctor, who said the infant had a severe brain injury and did not exhibit brain activity. The doctor also said the infant would probably pass away and the injury must have resulted from being violently slammed, shaken, and/or thrown just prior to exhibiting seizure like symptoms.
Heller was arrested on January 15 and had an in-custody interview. She changed her story again and said the infant fell off the couch and onto the hardwood floor while she was changing the infant s diaper. She claimed she withheld the information because she was scared to tell police. When investigators told Heller her description of the event did not match the infant s injury, Heller asked for a lawyer.
Heller was then told by police that the infant had died and asked to speak with detectives again. She then admitted to shaking the infant and said, it worked the first time so I thought it would work again, according to the criminal complaint. The report also said Heller was crying hysterically and vomited into a garbage can. She added she shook the infant four or five times after picking the infant off the floor.
After conferring with a doctor, the detective told Heller he did not believe the infant fell off the floor. Heller admitted she had been lying and informed investigators that she dropped the infant and its head fell on the ground first. She said that when the infant, was unresponsive, she shook her.
The next morning, on January 16, Heller provided yet another explanation. She said she accidentally struck the infant with a highchair tray and said the infant started crying. Then, Heller claims she took the infant out of the high chair and gave her a bottle. And then, while changing her diaper, Heller said the infant s eyes closed and her arms went limp. She then claimed to shake the baby several times before ultimately calling 911.