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Saturday, April 26, 2003



Baby sitter held after
head trauma kills child, 2


The 22-year-old baby sitter of a Waipahu toddler was arrested yesterday after the boy died of head trauma.

Homicide Lt. Bill Kato said the 2-year-old boy's mother dropped him off at the sitter's home about 6:45 Tuesday morning, just as she has every workday since hiring her last summer. The suspect, who was released pending investigation, took care of the boy and her own children in the Ewa Beach home she shared with her brother and boyfriend.

Kato said that about 5:15 Tuesday evening, the boyfriend of the boy's mother arrived to pick him up. The baby sitter's boyfriend met him at the door; told him, "We are having trouble waking him up"; and escorted him to a bedroom where the child was sleeping.

Upon entering the bedroom, the mother's boyfriend found the child "breathing laboriously" and was unable to wake him up, said Kato. At the time, the mother's boyfriend noticed no external head injuries, said Kato.

The mother's boyfriend called an ambulance, and the child was taken to St. Francis-West Medical Center.

Police reports indicate that when the child was examined at the hospital, he had massive swelling of the brain, a blood clot on the brain and bilateral hemorrhaging. The attending physician suspected shaken-baby syndrome, police said.

Police and Child Protective Services were notified.

The child was taken to Tripler Army Medical Center because his biological father is in the military. The boy underwent surgery to relieve swelling on his brain, but he died Thursday. The medical examiner has not yet determined whether the child died of blunt force to the head or shaken-baby syndrome, said Kato.

Meanwhile, police interviewed the child's mother, her boyfriend and the child's natural father. They also interviewed the baby sitter and her boyfriend and brother.

Kato said the baby sitter could face a charge of second-degree homicide. He said CPS is involved and had not taken her children into custody as of yesterday afternoon.

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