An Oklahoma day care worker accused of murdering an infant in her care said she was “stressed,” strapped for cash and “feeling like a loser” at the time the baby died, according to court records viewed by KFOR.
Melissa Clark is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 5-month-old Braelyn Zachary, who died from brain injuries she received on July 19, Fox 25 reported. The child was placed on life support at the hospital, but the injuries left her 95 percent brain dead and she died on Sunday.
“We knew the extent of her injuries and we knew they were very bad,” OSBI Detective Jessica Brown said. “I can’t imagine what the family is going through.”
Officials contend that while Clark was on her way to get coffee, she dropped Zachary on the tile floor, head-first. A short time later, Clark broke up an argument between Zachary and another child and then “threw [Zachary] onto the bouncy seat,” court documents said. Clark allegedly told cops that Zachary’s “body hit the bar on the bouncy seat” and then “fell onto the floor.” Clark said she responded by putting Zachary back into the seat. A short time later, Clark said she heard Zachary “choking on fluids.”
Clark said she heard the baby choking and tried bouncing her and performing CPR. She said she may have shaken the baby when she found her non-responsive.
The baby's injuries included: a subdural hematoma, severe retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes and a bruise on her forehead, “which is consistent with impact,” doctors said.
Arriving Oklahoma Department of Human Service workers said they found a baby wrapped in a blanket on the floor, KOKH reported.
Doctors at the hospital in Tulsa that cared for Zachary told investigators that the baby’s injuries represented “a child abuse case” and said unequivocally that “the baby was shaken.”
Clark originally posted a $75,000 bond on Friday but was back in jail after being charged with first-degree murder and facing a $750,000 bond.