BALTIMORE – A Maryland day care worker is accused of murder in the death of an 8-month-old girl who police say was assaulted during her nap.
Leah Walden, 23, is charged with first and second-degree murder, assault, child abuse and reckless endangerment in the death of Reese Bowman.
According to a police statement, officers arrived at the Baltimore day care facility on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a report of a baby not breathing. Medics performed CPR at the scene and the little girl was transported to a local hospital but did not survive.
CBS affiliate WJZ reports that police began investigating and spoke with Walden who said she fed the infant, wrapped her up in a blanket, and placed her in a crib for a nap. When she returned about 45 minutes later, she said she noticed the girl was not breathing and contacted authorities.
But the daycare facility has cameras throughout the center, and on Wednesday the owner of the facility notified police that they had discovered some “disturbing” video.
WJZ reports that police say the video shows Walden putting excessive blankets on the child, which covered her head, before snatching the little girl out of the crib by one arm several times, swinging at her as if she were slapping her, then placing pillows over her face.
Walden also reportedly walked off camera with the girl several times, and police tell the station they “can only assume” what Walden may have done off camera.
Police reportedly say they do not know why Walden allegedly assaulted the infant, but it appears that the child was awake during the assault.
According to police, there have been no previous formal complaints against this day care facility.