North Dakota day care provider charged with murder in infant's death
The death was ruled a homicide, court documents say.
CARRINGTON, N.D. — A Carrington, North Dakota, woman was arrested and charged with murder on Monday, Jan. 30, related to the September death of a 5-month-old infant at her in-home day care.
Patricia Ann Wick was charged with murder, a Class AA felony; abuse of a child, a Class B felony; and operating a family child care home without a license, a Class B misdemeanor. Wick is being held in the Stutsman County Correctional Center on a $50,000 bond.
An initial appearance and bail hearing were conducted via Zoom on Monday. Wick, who represented herself, was told to have no contact with the victims’ families.
Court documents say the Carrington Police Department and Carrington Ambulance responded to 438 Second St. S. shortly before 2 p.m. Sept. 26 to a report that an infant was unresponsive and CPR was in progress. The infant was airlifted to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where he later died from his injuries on Sept. 28.
Court documents do not identify the infant. WDAY confirmed Reed Nelson as the infant.
The results of an autopsy state Nelson died from complications of blunt-force head and neck trauma, and the death was ruled a homicide, court documents say.
During the investigation, the Carrington Police Department, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Buffalo Bridges Human Service Zone learned of a 6-year-old child who had been injured in the care of Wick in early September, and that she operated an in-home day care with more than five children without a license, court documents say.
Wick told investigators another child at the day care woke up after Reed had woken up from a nap, court documents say. Wick said she got Reed and set him on a blanket in the living room before she sat the other child at a kids table in the kitchen.
On Sept. 26, Wick heard Reed coughing, saw him vomiting, and called his mother, court documents say. Wick later said she may have set Reed down too hard, was not gentle with him, and was frustrated with him that day.
Wick also told investigators that another child had suffered a broken arm while in her care, court documents say. Wick indicated the child fell off a swing in her backyard about two weeks before the incident with Reed.
The mother of the child who suffered a broken arm told investigators that Wick did not contact her or her husband when the injury occurred, court documents say. Wick advised during the pickup of the child that he fell off a swing set and was faking the level of the injury. The mother said Wick never inquired about the child’s well-being after the incident.
Photographs show the swing set in Wick’s backyard was not secured to the ground and could lift while in use, court documents say.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Buffalo Bridges Human Services Zone and others assisted with the investigation.
The Carrington Police Department is investigating the incident. If anyone has additional information regarding the incident, contact the Carrington Police Department at 701-652-3321.