WAUKESHA COUNTY (WITI) -- A 31-year-old Waukesha woman has been officially charged in connection with the death of a two-year-old girl. The toddler was found dead in a residence on Barstow Street on Monday, October 6th.
Nicole Wagester, a mother of two herself, faces one felony count of first degree reckless homicide in the death of her boyfriend's two-year-old daughter.
The criminal complaint filed against Wagester says police were dispatched to the residence on Barstow Street on Monday morning for a report of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl who had apparently fallen off the bed and wasn't breathing.
The complaint says Fire Department personnel were called to the scene and were providing aid to the child before she was taken to the hospital.
The complaint says a police officer observed "multiple injuries" to the child's body. The child had a cast on her arm, and had "numerous other injuries."
Hospital staff didn't believe the child's injuries to be consistent with a child who fell off a bed, according to the complaint.
"When we were able to observe the victim, there were significant injuries to the body that showed signs of physical abuse to a child," Lt. Tom Wagner with the Waukesha Police Department said.
The two-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the hospital just after 11:15 a.m. Monday.
The complaint says police spoke with the father of the two-year-old girl. He said he left for work on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. -- saying Wagester was supposed to babysit the girl that day.
The girl's father told police around 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wagester and the girl arrived at his work to bring his keys to him.
The complaint says the girl's father told police the girl had broken her right arm about one week prior. The girl's father told police the girl was with Wagester and she apparently fell off some playground equipment. When Wagester told the girl's father what had happened once he arrived home from work, the girl's father says he immediately took her to the hospital for treatment, according to the complaint.
The complaint says the girl's father told police Wagester was having a hard time potty training the little girl.
Police spoke with Wagester at the home, and in the complaint, she is described as being "calm and emotionless" and not interested in rushing to the hospital where the little girl had been taken.
The complaint says Wagester told police the little girl had been sleeping in bed with her, when Wagester says she got up to go to the bathroom. That's when Wagester told police she heard a loud noise, followed by screaming and crying from the child.
The complaint says Wagester told police she went to the bedroom and saw the girl balled up on the floor -- with a facial injury. The complaint says shortly thereafter, Wagester told police the child stopped breathing.
Wagester told police she tried to administer a breathing treatment to the child, as the child has asthma. When the child didn't resume breathing, Wagester told police she dialed 911, according to the complaint.
The complaint says Wagester's version of the events that had transpired weren't consistent with police officers' observations in the bedroom. For example, there were two pillows placed on the edge of the bed that appeared to be there to keep the child from rolling out of bed. Additionally, a bedside table was undisturbed, and no items had fallen from the table, according to the complaint.
The complaint says Wagester was informed that the child had passed away at the hospital, and she "remained emotionless and unmoved."
That's when Wagester was taken into custody.
When she was being placed into handcuffs, the complaint says Wagester asked officers to stop so she could "tell them the truth."
The complaint says Wagester told police she had fallen asleep on her bed with the child, and had woken up with the little girl face down in the pillow underneath Wagester's body, and she was cool to the touch.
Wagester was then taken into custody -- and transported to the Waukesha Police Department.
There, Wagester agreed to speak with officers.
The complaint says Wagester told those officers she had told police she woke up on top of the little girl "as a way to avoid being arrested."
The complaint says Wagester then told officers after everyone had left for work or school, she went to see the girl's father with the girl, and they then went to Taco John's to get some food before returning home.
The complaint says Wagester told police she "lost her temper" with the girl in the bathroom over her potty training. Wagester told police that at one point, the girl had gotten up from the potty chair and fell to the side. Wagester told police she kicked the girl in her mid-section one time -- causing the girl to slide on the floor towards the bathroom door.
The complaint says Wagester then picked the girl up and laid her down on the bed -- laying down herself, with her back to the little girl. The complaint says Wagester told police she could feel the girl "twitching" but didn't look towards her -- instead, falling asleep.
The complaint says Wagester told police when she woke up, she realized she had rolled on top of the girl.
An autopsy performed on the toddler indicated she had a severely lacerated liver which led to massive internal bleeding and ultimately caused the girl's death.
The father of one of Wagester's two children and his wife were in court as Wagester made her initial appearance on Tuesday, October 7th.
"I'm shocked and heartbroken," Andre Pirtle said.
"I've known Nicole for almost four years and she never once laid a hand on any of her children," Pirtle's wife said.
"She worked third shift and comes home and takes care of the kids during the day," Pirtle said.
A judge set Wagester's bail at $100,000, with a condition that she have no contact whatsoever with a child under the age of 18.