MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Shakopee man has been charged in the death of a 1-year-old girl in 2015.

Nicholas Larson, 27, is charged with one count of second degree murder after authorities say his DNA was found on the ears of baby Tara Engman, who died of a traumatic brain injury in December 2015.

Tara’s parents left her in the care of a nanny the morning of Dec. 22. The criminal complaint states Larson, who was married to the nanny, arrived at the home sometime later. Around 2:40 p.m., the nanny called Tara’s father to say the child was having trouble breathing.

At Hennepin County Medical Center, a child abuse specialist doctor examined the baby and said she had a traumatic brain injury and injuries to her ears from pulling on them, the complaint states. Another specialist determined the injuries occurred shortly before she arrived at the hospital and certainly after Tara’s parents left her with the nanny.

Tara died the next day.

DNA swabbed from Tara’s ears matched Larson’s DNA and did not match the nanny or the parents, the complaint states.

The nanny said in an interview with police Larson told her to say he never touched Tara. The nanny did tell prosecutors Larson was alone with the baby for part of the day.

Larson is expected in court Monday and prosecutors will ask for $1 million bail, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.


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