MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Charges have been filed Wednesday against two people in connection to the death of a child in Fergus Falls.
Bobbie Bishop, 40, and Walter Wynhoff, 44, both face felony charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree manslaughter and one count of malicious punishment of a child in connection to the April 9 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Bishop carried the unresponsive 6-year-old boy into the Lake Region Hospital on Monday. Efforts were immediately started to resuscitate the boy, who was not breathing, but he was eventually declared deceased by hospital staff.
A detective who responded noted that the child’s appearance was disturbing “with marks from head to toe, sores, cuts and scratches all over.” Medical staff confirmed the boy had infected wounds and multiple signs of trauma consistent with different mechanisms of inflicted injury, including strap marks.
According to the criminal complaint, both Bishop and Wynhoff admitted to failing to bring the child into the hospital. They admitted to disciplining the child with spankings, belts and restraining him with duct tape.
The complaint says the discipline escalated in the month leading up to the death.
Wynhoff told police that Bishop went up to the child’s room Monday morning and started screaming. When he ran upstairs, he noticed that the child was not breathing, and they drove to the emergency room. Bishop said she woke up and found him not breathing and blue in color, according to the criminal complaint.
Police say the boy and a sibling had been living with Bishop and Wynhoff, and their legal guardian lived in Montana. The children had been living with the two for less than a year, and that the kids were not enrolled in school.
If convicted, both could face up to 40 years in prison on the murder charge and up to 15 years in prison on the first-degree manslaughter charge.