Babysitter Linked To Another Child Abuse Allegation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/21/05

Babysitter Linked To Another Child Abuse Allegation

Jessica Sanders was shocked and heart sick with the news that babysitter Amy Wilkerson was charged with murder in the death of a two-month-old baby.

"I was in total disbelief," she said. "I just couldn't believe that something that bad had happened."

Sanders' two boys, William and Nickalaus, had been in the care of that same sitter until early January, when something horrible happened to William.

"I looked at William and I about hit the roof," the mother remembered. "His face was all discolored. I can't really describe what it looked like. It was just all blotchy and red and purple. And it looked like he had hand prints on his cheeks."

The child's mother says the babysitter claimed William fell off the bed. But a medical exam at Ocean Springs Hospital and a follow up doctor's visit suggested otherwise.

"They said it doesn't look like he fell off the bed. They know that much," said Sanders.

A doctor's evaluation reports "multiple bruising of the face" and said the injuries were "not likely accidental."

Sanders was surprised when the sitter came to the hospital that night.

"She showed up at the hospital hysterical screaming that she didn't do it. She didn't do anything. She promised he fell off the bed. She didn't do anything," Sanders said.

William's mother says a DHS case worker interviewed both her and the babysitter shortly after the incident was reported. Despite the doctor's reports that the injuries didn't appear accidental, no criminal charges were filed. The mother was told it would be difficult to prove the sitter caused the injuries.

This week's incident that allegedly involved the sitter and another child, prompted a call from the sheriff's investigator.

"They wanted to know if I'd like to press charges, since I didn't press charges earlier, since DHS said I really didn't have a case since they couldn't prove anything," she said.

Sanders thought about it and decided to press charges.

As for her children, Sanders took steps in January to make sure nothing else would happen to them.

"I got a new babysitter the next day," she said.

Amy Wilkerson's preliminary hearing is set for August 8th.

By the way, the family of the two-month-old who died is in need of help for funeral expenses. Friends have set up a special account in the name of "Triston Chinn" at Keesler Federal Credit Union.

by Steve Phillips

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