Babysitter returned dead infant to mom pretending he was alive: cops

Marissa Tietsort             
    WSAW

Marissa Tietsort WSAW

The child was motionless, his skin cold, his mouth clenched shut.

When the victim's mother came to pick up her children, the infant was in his auto seat with a hat pulled down over his eyes. About two hours after the drop-off, the mother reportedly got a suspicious text message from Tietsort, telling her that a local news website had just published a story about her, saying the babysitter was being charged with child abuse and wasn't supposed to have contact with children. Instead, she allegedly put the dead child in his carseat and took a trip to McDonald's with her family before returning the boy to his mother, according to Wausau Daily Herald. But now the child was dead.

The devastated mother's sister texted Tietsort to say "You killed my sister's baby" soon after detectives arrived on the scene.

Hours later, police reached Tietsort, who admitted she knew the child had died in her care but did not know how or why.

A criminal complaint filed Friday says 28-year-old Marissa Tietsort, of Wausau, caused the infant's death in October, and then put him in a snowsuit and vehicle seat and let his mother pick him up without telling her the child was dead.

The coroner's report, however, would paint a much uglier and more violent picture of the child's death.

Marissa Tietsort has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide. She has been in police custody since October, but has yet to enter a plea. "I'm not a monster", she wrote. "I'm a great mom and I love everybody".

She was the only adult at the house at that time.

Tietsort warned the mother not to tell anyone she was watching her children, as she was not allowed to be in contact with minors.

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The rigor mortis that set in on the infant's legs, which left them bent at the knees even after he was removed from his vehicle seat, showed he had been killed at least two hours before police arrived at the laundromat, according to the complaint. The criminal complaint does not state whether she offered any explanation for how the child died. "She said she did not check for a pulse, she did not reach out for help and she did not perform any resuscitation efforts".

She put the baby's lifeless body on the hallway floor while she grabbed his snowsuit, and then dressed him and placed him in the auto seat, police said.

She picked up her children from Tietsort's home about 9:20 p.m. Instead, she loaded up the deceased baby in his auto seat, the baby's brother, and her own child into the vehicle.

After she gave the boy back to his mother, Tietsort, her boyfriend and their son went swimming at a local hotel, the complaint said. When the mother discovered her child was not breathing, she called 911, police said.

When a forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on the child, the evidence countered Tietsort's account. He also had "fractured, broken off and displaced" his tailbone, suggesting a "significant amount of force" had been used. However, when she took her son out of the vehicle seat, "his legs were rigid and remained bent at the knee", investigators noted.

A Wisconsin babysitter is facing murder charges after police say a 2-month-old boy died of "blunt force" in her care and she then disguised the dead infant to make him look like he was sleeping before returning him to his mother. In August of 2018, she was arrested and charged with child abuse after she had been accused of injuring an 11-month-old girl in her care. According to the Daily Herald, she was not charged in the case. Tietsort reportedly claimed the baby had fallen off the couch, but doctors told her parents that her injuries were not consistent with a fall.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports that Tietsort had previously been involved in at least three separate child abuse cases. Social service workers were apparently unaware she had given birth to a fifth child and is pregnant with her sixth child.

Tietsort is being held on a $500,000 cash bond. She is due in court on January 18.

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