A northwestern Minnesota woman who was caring for an infant in her home without a license to do so is charged with killing the girl, who had injuries consistent with being severely shaken.
Sarah L. Kortan, 30, was charged last week with second-degree murder in connection with last month's death of 2-month-old Josephine at Kortan's home in the Prairie Rose Apartments in Red Lake Falls.
She remains jailed without bail ahead of a court appearance Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint:
Kortan called 911 early in the evening of June 20 about a baby not breathing. Deputies arrived and found the girl unresponsive. They began resuscitation efforts before an ambulance crew arrived and detected bruises on the child's face and white foam coming from her nose.
The baby was taken by ambulance to a hospital about 20 miles away in Thief River Falls, where medical personnel found that she had little or no brain activity and had symptoms of being severely shaken. Josephine was taken off life support two days later.
Kortan told Chief Sheriff's Deputy Brad Johnson that she had dropped the baby a few days earlier, and the girl hit her head on the stove and the floor.
An autopsy revealed the baby had multiple skull fractures and severe eye injuries consistent with being shaken.
Authorities said Kortan had been offering through Facebook in-home day care at her apartment and was looking after two other children from Thief River Falls, ages 8 and 12. Both were in the home when the baby stopped breathing.
State records as of Sunday morning showed no license for Kortan as a day-care provider.
The baby's biological mother and Kortan's cousin, Chelsey Howell, turned the girl over to Kortan, WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks reported.
Howell has been in prison in Shakopee since February on a probation violation stemming from drug charges. She's scheduled to be released Thursday.
The television station added that according to a GoFundMe page started by Kortan a few months ago, she wanted to adopt a baby because she was unable to give birth.