Babysitter Returns Dead Infant to Mother Jan 7, 2019 15:12:19 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Jan 7, 2019 15:12:19 GMT -5
Babysitter Returns Dead Infant to Mother
WAUSAU, Wis. – The Wausau babysitter charged with killing a 2-month-old boy in her care attempted to hide the infant’s death from his mother and then went swimming at a Wausau hotel with her boyfriend and son. Marissa Tietsort (above), 28, dressed the baby in winter clothing and strapped him into a car seat, pretending he was alive during a trip to McDonald’s and continuing the ruse when she returned the boy to his mom, court documents indicated.
Tietsort has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the baby’s death. Family and friends of the 2-month-old child filled the benches of a Marathon County courtroom wearing “Justice for Benson” T-shirts featuring a photo of the infant. Judge Jill Falstad set a $500,000 cash bond and ordered that Tietsort was not to have any contact with children under 18 or with the victim’s immediate family. Tietsort has been in jail since October on a $250,000 cash bond in a separate child abuse case. If she is ever able to post bond, Tietsort is not allowed to leave Marathon County, the judge ruled.
According to a criminal complaint, Tietsort knew the child had died while in her care, but did not tell the baby’s mother when she came to pick up her son. An autopsy shows the baby died of blunt force trauma to the head.
The boy’s mother dropped off the baby and his older brother at Tietsort’s home on North 6th Street in Wausau on the afternoon of Oct. 18, 2017. The infant was awake and Tietsort was the only adult in the house when the victim’s mother left her children there, according to the complaint. About two hours later, the baby’s mother received a text from Tietsort advising her there was a story on a local news outlet’s website indicating she [Tietsort] had been charged with child abuse. Tietsort told the mother she was not allowed to have any contact with children and not to tell anyone she was watching her two sons. The mother picked up her sons about three hours later. When the mother arrived, the infant was in his car seat wearing a snow suit with a hat pulled down over his eyes. The mother told police she believed her son was sleeping because it was past 9 p.m.
The victim’s mother then took her children to Northway Coin Laundry on West 3rd Street, where she discovered her child wasn’t breathing, had stiff limbs and was cold to the touch. The mother immediately began CPR while her sister called 911. When police arrived around 9:45 p.m., officers observed the infant “had an ashen skin tone, his jaw was clenched and his lips were blue.”
Police found Tietsort at the Plaza Hotel in Wausau at 4:15 the following morning. She admitted she had been watching the infant and his brother the day before and the infant had died in her care. She told police she did not kill the infant, but did not make any efforts to resuscitate him or call for help. She said she knew the baby was dead because he was cold to the touch, but she did not check for a pulse. After realizing the baby had died, she dressed him in his snowsuit and hat, covered him with blankets and placed him in his car seat. When her boyfriend came home around 6:30, she did not tell him the infant had died. Tietsort, the boyfriend, their son and the victim’s brother then went to eat at McDonald’s. Tietsort took the dead baby with them.
According to the complaint, autopsy determined the 2-month-old boy died of “blunt force head injuries with multiple impacts to the head.” The infant had at least three separate injuries to his head, which all occurred around the time of his death, forensic pathologist Robert Corliss opined. The boy also had significant injuries to his tailbone, which Corliss said was “fractured, broken off and displaced, indicating a significant amount of force was used.”
Following the child’s death, Tietsort was arrested on a child abuse charge from an incident that occurred in August. According to court documents, the father of an 11-month-old girl told police he believed Tietsort injured his daughter while babysitting her. Tietsort told the girl’s parents their child had fallen off the couch while sleeping, which resulted in injuries to her face. However, doctors told the parents the injuries, though superficial, were not consistent with a fall from that height.
In 2017, an infant was taken to the hospital with a bruised face and skull fracture. Tietsort told investigators the infant’s older sister had tried to take a bottle away from Tietsort while she was feeding the child. She said the bottle struck the infant, causing the injury. She wasn’t charged in that incident.
In 2010, Tietsort’s boyfriend filed for temporary restraining orders after telling investigators his girlfriend was abusing their two sons. Records indicate social services employees have removed four of Tietsort’s children from her care and were unaware she had given birth to a fifth child. Tietsort, who is pregnant with her sixth child, is being held in the Marathon County Jail. Her next court appearance is scheduled for January 18.
Source: Natalie Brophy, The Wausau Daily Herald, January 4, 2019.