Baby Dies After Being Tortured By Daycare Worker

June 2, 2017
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Police in Baltimore have arrested a 23-year-old daycare worker who’s been accused of assaulting an 8-month-old girl during nap time, which resulted in her death.

A police official says in his opinion, the victim was “tortured.”

Leah Walden faces a number of charges, including first and second-degree murder, in the death of Reese Bowman.

“It’s giving me cold chills now to even think about it,” said Tim Barth, who watched the first responders arrive.

Police say that Walden is seen on video snatching Bowman by one arm several times, as well as placing pillows over her face.

“As a parent, you send your child to daycare because you think it’s going to be safe for them,” Shelley Veasey said.

Police say that Bowman died on May 23, after officers responded to a call at the Rocket Tiers Learning Center located on South High Street for a report of a baby not breathing.

“Reese Bowman in my opinion was tortured,” said Col. Stanley Branford of Baltimore Police. “Just evil, what motive could you possibly have to treat a baby that way.”

Responding officers found medics performing CPR on the 8-month-old girl, who was later identified as Bowman.

“You would never think that someone would do something as evil as that because that’s an 8-month-old baby, innocent, that baby was innocent,” one person said.

Bowman was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Police say there were no obvious signs of “trauma or injuries” to Bowman at that time.

Police started investigating, and spoke with Walden, a caretaker at Rocket Tiers. The woman told police that she fed Bowman, 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 Bowman was not breathing and contact authorities.

The daycare facility has cameras throughout and investigators began going through video footage. The owner of the facility notified police that they had discovered a “disturbing” video.

The video reportedly shows Walden putting excessive blankets on Bowman, which covered her head, before snatching Bowman out of the crib by one arm several times, swinging at Bowman as if she were slapping her, then placing pillows over her face.

Walden also walked off camera with Bowman a few times, and police say they “can only assume” what Walden may have done off camera.

“It was really sad, they were running back and forth into daycare center. They rushed her as quick as they could into the ambulance. They had her covered up but her little feet were hanging out. It was so sad,” Veasey said.

According to police, there have been no previous formal complaints against this daycare facility.

Police say Walden had been working at the daycare for more than 2 years.

The Maryland Department of Education says they put the daycare under an emergency suspension and a spokesman says they can’t reopen unless a judge allows it.

The Bowman Family released the following statement:

“Our family is suffering tremendous pain and wishes to grieve in private. Our hearts are broken. No family should ever have to experience the loss of a child under any circumstances. We await further information from the unfolding investigation.”

Police say that Walden did not have a prior record and there doesn’t appear to be other victims but they’re urging parents who are suspicious to contact the child abuse center at 443-984-7378.

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