A caretaker at a Baltimore daycare facility is facing several charges after an infant dies from being “tortured.”
Southeast District patrol officers from the Baltimore Police Department responded to a call from the unit block of South High Street on Tuesday afternoon. They received a report that a baby was not breathing inside the Rocket Tiers Learning Center. Upon their arrival, the officers found medics performing CPR on Reese Bowman. The eight-month-old baby girl was in “medical distress.” Medics then proceeded to transport baby Reese to an area hospital. Despite the doctors’ efforts, however, the infant was pronounced dead just a short time later.
According to Baltimore City Police Chief Stanley Brandford, there were no obvious signs of trauma or injuries on the baby Reese found in the hospital. Moreover, during an interview with the police, one staffer at the daycare facility said she fed the baby, wrapped her up in a blanket and put her down for a nap. And when she returned to check on the baby around 45 minutes later, she found that the baby was not breathing and called 911. However, a routine homicide investigation into the baby’s death tells a different story.
For starters, it turns out the staffer they had interviewed, 23-year-old Leah Walden, lied about what happened. While the surveillance cameras that police reviewed showed nothing unusual, one footage brought forward by the daycare facility did. In fact, the video showed Walden abusing baby Reese while under her care. Chief Branford remarked that the video was “very disturbing.” “Reese Bowman, in my opinion, was tortured,” Branford added.
Evidence of abuse seen in the surveillance footage.
According to Brandford, Walden covered the baby with blankets excessively to the point of also covering her head. The abuse of the infant also did not stop there. “She violently snatched the child out of the crib by one arm several times, swinging at the baby as if she was slapping her and placing pillows over the face,” Branford said. There were also times when Walden took the baby out of the crib and away from the camera’s view. ” We can only assume what may have done off-camera,” Branford further remarked.
Following the death of baby Reese, her family released a statement to The Baltimore Sun saying, “Our hearts are broken. No family should ever have to experience the loss of a child under any circumstances.” The family is also asking for privacy at this time.
Meanwhile, police charged Walden with first and second-degree murder; first and second-degree assault; first and second-degree child abuse as well as reckless endangerment.
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