Police in Maryland say they were able to obtain surveillance footage from a day care center that ultimately led to one of the establishment’s employees being charged with murder, according to CBS Baltimore.
The matter reportedly began this past Tuesday, May 23, at the Rocket Tiers Learning Center, when 911 operators first received a call about an infant, later identified by the day care employees as 8-month-old Reese Bowman, being unable to breathe on her own.
Medics arrived on-scene shortly thereafter and took over CPR duties from the Rocket Tiers employees, prior to transporting Reese to a nearby medical establishment for further and immediate treatment.
“Bowman was taken to an area hospital,” CBS Baltimore confirms, “where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.”
An initial examination done on the baby by doctors uncovered no immediate or obvious signs of trauma or injury, Baltimore police officers went on to say in their report.
Additionally, workers at Rocket Tiers — including 23-year-old caretaker Leah Walden — were quick to offer their assistance in the police investigation regarding Reese’s dire outcome.
In her statement to officers, Walden explained that Reese seemed fine when she was first fed a bottle earlier that afternoon, and again prior to placing the child down in a crib for a scheduled nap.
— 48 Hours (@48hours) May 25, 2017
“When [Walden] returned [to check on Reese] about 45 minutes later,” CBS Crimesider goes on to say, “she noticed the girl was not breathing and [quickly] contacted authorities.”
As it turned out, however, surveillance cameras inside of the halls of the day care center, located near South High Street and E. Lombard Street in the east coast city, told a very different story about Walden.
“The owner of the facility notified police that they had discovered some ‘disturbing’ video,” of Walden interacting with Reese, the news network states.
“The video shows Walden putting excessive blankets on the child, which covered her head, before snatching the little girl out of the crib by one arm several times [and] swinging at her as if she were slapping her, [prior to] placing pillows over her face.”
At later points in the surveillance footage, Walden is seen several times carrying Reese somewhere off-camera to do things the Baltimore City Police “can only assume” were just as harmful as what was actually able to be viewed in the video.
One law official, Criminal Investigations Chief Stanley Brandford, went on to name what he saw occurring to Reese as pure “torture.”
“Watching that video [was] disturbing,” Chief Brandford relayed during a press conference on Thursday, as transcribed by the Washington Post.
“Reese Bowman, in my opinion, was tortured.”
After viewing the video, the Baltimore Sun says the day care worker was taken into police custody by members of the Baltimore law enforcement squad early Thursday morning and charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, second-degree child abuse, and reckless endangerment.
Downtown Day Care Center closed today after child care worker is charged with murder. 8 month old girl . Police say it was caught on tape pic.twitter.com/fD2vgUHnmZ
— Kathleen Cairns (@CairnsKcairns) May 25, 2017
Rocket Tiers, while still fully cooperating with police in the interim, has been shut down temporarily in the wake of Reese’s death, pending a fuller investigation.
Hours after the day care worker’s arrest, Reese’s family released a heartfelt statement that asked the public for privacy as the investigation into the infant’s murder continues to carry out.
“Our family is suffering tremendous pain [and] our hearts are broken,” their note reads.
“No family should ever have to experience the loss of a child under any circumstances. We await further information from the unfolding investigation.”
Police went on to say that Walden didn’t share her motive for beating little Reese, but it looked to them that the child was fully awake and aware of the day care worker’s abuse as it went on that day.
A look into the child care center’s background by the media uncovered no past complaints filed toward the organization. As of Thursday afternoon, the alleged day care murderer had not obtained legal counsel.
[Featured Image by Baltimore City Police Dept.]