Parents among 3 charged in death of 5-month-old Iowa baby
SHELDON (AP) — The parents of a 5-month-old baby who died last year in northwestern Iowa are among three people now charged in the infant’s death.
Lawrence Ruotolo, 20, and Brittanee Baker, 21, both of Sheldon, have been charged with child endangerment causing bodily injury in the July 31 death of their daughter, the Sioux City Journal reported. Stacie Hurlburt, 49, also of Sheldon, has been charged with a misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact, authorities said.
O’Brien County prosecutors say in court records that Ruotolo was caring for the baby on July 26 when he became angry with the infant’s crying and assaulted her, leading Baker to take the baby to a local emergency room. The baby was treated for abrasions and bruising to her head and ears and released, and hospital staff did not notify notify police or child services of the injuries.
The next day while again in her father’s care, the baby was found not breathing with no pulse and flown to a Sioux City hospital, where she died days later. An autopsy determined her cause of death was by “a suffocation event of an indeterminate nature.”
Investigators said Ruotolo and the two other women charged made up a story that the child had been injured by a lamp knocked over by cats.