Ohio Toddler Brain-Dead After Alleged Beating by Babysitter; Anguished Father Says, 'Breathe for Daddy'
A three-year-old Ohio girl is clinging to life after she was allegedly beaten by her babysitter, PEOPLE confirms.
According to WLWT and other outlets that cite court records, the child, Hannah Wesche, of Hamilton Township, is brain dead and is on life support at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
On Friday, the babysitter, Lindsay Partin, 35, was arrested and charged with assault and child endangerment, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Partin has pleaded not guilty. She posted a $30,000 bond and was released from Butler County Jail on Monday, jail records show. She is scheduled to return to court on Thursday.
“This little girl is hanging on by a thread,” said Sheriff Richard K. Jones in the statement. “Cases like this rip your heart out. I don’t understand why or how anyone harms a child.”
On Monday in court, the girl’s father, Jason Wesche, told a judge his daughter is not expected to live.
“Within the next couple of days, we’ve been told that it’s going to come to an end,” he told a judge, Fox 19 Cincinnati reports.
“We just want to stress that this situation is devastating,” he said, the outlet reports.
The family’s ordeal began on Thursday, when police responded to a home on Shank Road for a call about an unconscious child, the sheriff’s office said in the statement.
When police and EMTs arrived, the child was unresponsive, had trouble breathing and had bruises on her head and face, the sheriff’s office said.
Partin allegedly admitted to striking the child, the statement said. Initially, she allegedly said the toddler had fallen and hit her head on the concrete floor in her garage the day before, according to the statement.
Partin called 911 shortly after the child’s father dropped her off at her house at 7 a.m. on Thursday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“I babysit kids,” Partin can be heard saying on the 13-minute 911 call, which was obtained by the Enquirer. (The child’s father) just dropped her off and all of a sudden she just passed out.”
When the operator asks Partin who passed out, she replies, “The little girl, she’s three. She fell pretty bad yesterday. She was fine and then all of sudden this morning she walked in and she passed out, limp.”
At one point during the call, Partin can be heard telling the child, “I love you, buttercup. You’re OK,” before saying to the operator, “I can’t believe this is happening. I thought she was fine.”
When Jason Wesche learned that his daughter was unconscious, he raced back to Partin’s home and tried to help his ailing daughter breathe, the Enquirer reports.
“Hannah, look at daddy. Look up,” he can be heard saying on 911 call. “Breathe for daddy, breathe. Hannah, look at daddy. What’s the matter?”
Hospital personnel and police found more bruises on Hannah’s body, Fox 19 reports.
Sheriff Jones warned other parents about properly vetting babysitters.
“Parents, please know who is watching your children. Get background checks, talk to neighbors, friends and family members before letting anyone watch your children, know who you are leaving your babies with,” he said in the statement.
It is unclear whether Partin has retained an attorney who can comment on her behalf.
Jason Wesche has launched a GoFundMe page for medical care for Hannah.