Baby-Sitter Charged in Toddler's Sleeping Bag Death

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A baby-sitter was charged with the murder of a toddler who police said was fatally injured when she swung him around in a sleeping bag for fun and his head smacked a door frame.

Police re-arrested 25-year-old Yalines Torres late Wednesday, a day after she was released after posting bond on charges of risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

Torres was being held on $1 million bond on the new charge, and was set to be arraigned Thursday, Sgt. Edward Yergeau said. News of the new charge came as the toddler's family gathered at his funeral.

An official with the public defenders' office, which is representing Torres, said Thursday that no one would comment about the case. A message seeking comment was left with prosecutor Gail Hardy.

Torres was watching 19-month-old Elijah Gasque on Friday evening while his mother worked. According to a police report, Torres told Julie Adkins-Gasque that Elijah had a seizure and collapsed during a game of ring-around-the-rosy.

Police said Torres made conflicting statements to them about the injury, saying that her own 2-year-old son struck him in the head with a xylophone toy and that Elijah may have been hurt when he fell after she twirled him in the air and set him down.

But after more questioning, police said Torres said Elijah was injured in a game in which she bundled him in a closed sleeping bag and she jogged through her apartment with the bag slung over her shoulder.

Going through one doorway, Torres lost her balance and the bag struck the door frame twice, police said. When she opened the bag, Elijah was pale and not breathing, according to the police report.

He died at a hospital the next day. A police report noted Elijah had a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain, and the medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide.

Police said Torres admitted that she had initially lied about the boy's injuries because people would think she intentionally hurt the boy if she told the truth. Her lawyer was not in the office Wednesday and not available for comment.

During her arraignment, Torres was shaky and collapsed into a chair. The arraignment was televised under a new state program designed to make the courts more open. It was believed to be the first arraignment in the state at which cameras were permitted. The state previously allowed cameras during a few criminal trials.