Tue. May 28th, 2024

Four months after a child was found unresponsive at a North Dakota daycare, criminal charges have been filed against the woman prosecutors say caused the fatal injuries.

48-year-old Patricia Wick is charged in Foster County Court with murder, child abuse and operating a daycare without a license.

Carrington Police were called to Wick’s home at 438 2nd St. S. just before 2 p.m. on September 26, 2022 for an unresponsive child. 5-month-old Reed was life-flighted to Fargo where medical experts stated he had “clearly suffered traumatic head injury and subsequently had a cardiac arrest,” court documents allege. The child died on Sept. 28, and further autopsy results stated Reed died as a result of complications of blunt-force head and neck trauma. His manner of death was determined to be homicide, court documents state.

When investigators spoke with Wick, she stated on Sept. 26 she had just fed Reed and laid him down. Court documents say Reed woke up about 15 minutes later and woke up another child from crying. Wick stated she put the 5-month-old on a blanket in the living room, while she helped another child in the kitchen. Wick later admitted she may have put Reed down too hard and may have not been gentle with him because “she was frustrated” with him that day, documents say.

A few minutes later, Wick said she heard Reed coughing and saw he was vomiting, court documents state. Wick called the child’s mother and called 911, “and that was it,” Wick told investigators.

During the interview, Wick also told investigators another child had broken his arm while in her care two weeks prior. When that child’s parents were interviewed, court documents say they stated the boy broke his arm while on Wick’s swing set. The parents stated they weren’t called after the incident, and say instead, Wick told them at pick-up time and alleged Wick downplayed the boy’s level of injury. The boy was taken to the emergency room, where documents say it was determined the boy had a broken arm. Documents also allege Wick never inquired about the boy’s wellbeing after the incident.

A search warrant was executed at Wick’s home on Sept. 28, where court documents say investigators found Wick’s swing set was not secured to the ground and could lift while in use.

Wick’s first appearance in court has not yet been set.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com