Kellie Jo Anderson allegedly said the boy, whose age was not given, had been bruised on the face and head after flinging himself from a bathtub

By Jeff Truesdell
April 28, 2020 06:00 PM
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Clay County Jail

A nurse caring for a child that she and her husband had considered adopting now stands accused of the boy’s second-degree murder.

Authorities arrested and charged Kellie Jo Anderson, 35, from Barnesville, Minnesota, after they say she brought the “blue and lifeless” boy with facial and head bruising to a hospital emergency room in Fargo, North Dakota, on Thursday, reports the Forum News Service and St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

A doctor estimated the boy, who had a temperature around 82 degrees, had been dead for about 40 minutes before being brought to the hospital, reports KFGO.

Kellie Jo said she’d been giving the boy, whose name and age were not released, a bath on Wednesday when he “threw himself several times from the bath to the toilet,” according to her statement to a detective, as described in a court document.

The woman said the boy may have suffered a seizure in the tub, but her husband, Kyle James Anderson, told investigators he didn’t believe the boy had ever experienced any seizures. The husband was not charged.

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The court document says the couple had been caring for the child for about a year, reports KFGO.

The woman initially was arrested on a charge of felony neglect, which was amended to the murder charge in court Monday in Clay County, North Dakota, reports the Associated Press.

The charge carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison if she’s found guilty.

An attorney for Kellie Jo was not identified.

Injuries to the boy included a cut on the inside of his lip, bruises on his back and side, a bump on the back of his head, multiple marks on his face and a cut to his genitals, according to court documents.

The doctor told officers those injuries were inconsistent with Kellie Jo’s version of events. The child died of asphyxiation associated with blunt-force trauma, according to an autopsy cited in the court documents, and the manner of death was given as homicide.

The couple had a foster care license that was suspended as of Saturday.

Kellie Jo is being held in the Clay County jail.