Baby beaten to death at illegal daycare

A 48-year-old woman and day care provider in North Dakota has been taken into custody after being accused of brutally beating a 5-month-old child in her care, which ultimately led to the infant’s death last year.

Patricia Ann Wick is being charged with one count each of murder, caregiver child abuse, and operating a family child care home without a license.

According to a police affidavit, first responders were called to a home in the 400 block of 2nd Street at 1:50 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2022, for a medical emergency. Upon arriving, officers found a woman performing CPR on a small, unresponsive child. The infant was taken to CHI Medical Center and then airlifted to Sanford Medical Center, but two days later, the child died.

A medical report stated that the baby had suffered a traumatic head injury and anoxic brain injury, which is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. An autopsy later determined that the death was caused by “complications of blunt force head and neck trauma.”

In an interview with Wick, she allegedly stated that the victim had been crying while sleeping on the bed with three other children in the same room. Wick said she grabbed the child and put him on a blanket, and then went to get the other child before hearing the victim coughing and vomiting. She then struck the child on the back and butt to try and get a response, but the infant took one “big gasp of air” before she called the baby’s mother.

Wick later said that when she moved the victim from the bed to the blanket, she may have put the child “down too hard” due to frustration.

The victim’s mother also informed police that Wick had not contacted her about the baby’s broken arm until the day she picked the infant up from Wick’s care, and did not ask about the baby’s wellbeing afterwards. Police also found that the swing set in Wick’s backyard was not secure and could lift while in use.