MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 25-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the 2009 death of her baby in St. Louis Park, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Ashleigh Jennifer Casey was arrested on a warrant and made her first appearance Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 12, 2009, police were called to a house in St. Louis Park on a report of a baby not breathing. There, they found Casey’s 3-month-old son lying on the basement floor and despite performing CPR, the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.
After an autopsy, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found no medical reason why the baby stopped breathing and listed the death as undetermined.
Then, in May 23, 2013, St. Louis Park Police learned there was a similar incident under investigation involving Casey – this time in Mille Lacs County. Casey brought her 8-month-old girl to the hospital several times, but doctors could find nothing wrong.
At the hospital, Casey had alerted a nurse that her daughter wasn’t breathing. The nurse performed CPR and was able to resuscitate the girl. It seemed suspicious to the girl’s doctor, who thought Casey might be involved.
After raising suspicion with the doctor and authorities, a St. Louis Park Police investigator interviewed Casey, who admitted to holding a blanket over her son’s mouth until he stopped breathing in 2009. Casey told the investigator she didn’t mean to hurt him and she expected him to start breathing again, as he had in the past, the complaint said.
Now, Mille Lacs County child protection officials are overseeing the welfare of Casey’s daughter.
Casey’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9.