The Hennepin County attorney’s office has brought charges against a Shakopee man accused of killing a 1-year-old girl while she was in the care of his wife.
Nicholas Larson, 27, was charged with one count of second-degree murder Friday in the death of Tara Engman on Dec. 22, 2015. Tara died of blunt-force injuries after she was left in the care of Larson’s wife, her nanny.
Prosecutors are asking that Larson’s bail to be set for $1 million.
“It took about 16 months, because no one was admitting to what happened and it required detailed examinations by doctors and DNA results to provide the evidence we needed to bring the charge,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday in a news release. “In addition, one of our prosecutors interviewed the nanny and received more truthful evidence than she originally provided.”
According to the criminal complaint, Engman was taken to her pediatrician on Dec. 21, 2015, for a cough and fever. The next day, her parents, Seth and Angela Engman, went to work and left their child with the nanny at their Minneapolis home. Larson came to visit the nanny that day as she was caring for Tara.
At 2:40 p.m., the nanny called Tara’s father and said the baby was having trouble breathing. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where a doctor with expertise in child abuse examined her and found that she had a traumatic brain injury. Doctors also found that she had injuries to her ears due to pulling.
Another doctor then discovered that Engman’s injuries had occurred before she was taken to the hospital and after her parents had left for work at 8:30 a.m.
Police were able to take swabs of Engman’s ears and found DNA that matched Larson’s. The nanny later revealed to police that Larson had told her not to tell police that he had touched the baby. She then admitted that Larson had been left alone with the child for part of the day.
Larson’s first appearance is set for Monday.