Nicole Greenaway asked her co worker Amanda Huard of 330 Center Road in Fairfield to babysit her three-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, for the night. Her co-worker gladly agreed. The two women work at Elmwood Primary Care in Waterville. But things took a tragic turn when Huard allowed her 10-year-old daughter to be in charge of baby Brooklyn.
Ashley Tenney, 20, who lives in the family’s basement, told what she saw that tragic night.
Tenney and Huard were downstairs while the 10-year-old was left upstairs in her bedroom to care for the baby. “When the 10-year-old girl could not stop the baby from crying she brought the baby downstairs but nothing appeared out of the ordinary,” Tenney said. After some time when the baby stopped crying, the 10-year-old girl went upstairs with the baby, who later came down without the baby, and told her mother that the baby was sleeping.
Tenney went to sleep about 11 p.m. and was awakened about 1:30 am. "I heard adults crying, so I ran upstairs, that’s when I heard someone say "dead." She saw Huard’s boyfriend holding Brooklyn and Huard was crying. At 1:34 a.m. they called police saying the baby wasn't breathing.
Emergency responders arrived six minutes later but sadly they could not save baby Brooklyn. The baby was pronounced dead later that morning at Maine General Medical Center's Thayer Campus in Waterville, said state police Sgt. Jason Richards.
Brooklyn was born April 4, weighing 9 pounds, 2.8 ounces.
Huard called the baby’s mother at 1:46 a.m. and told her that Brooklyn was rushed to the hospital because she was found not breathing. By the time Greenaway arrived at the hospital, Doctors told her that Brooklyn was dead.
"I was in the hospital for three hours but they refused to let me see my baby. They didn't tell me at the time, but it was because of the condition that she was in. Her face was very beat up and bruised." Greenaway took photos of her baby at the funeral home, showing bruises on the baby's face.
An autopsy showed that Brooklyn died from suffocation, and the bruises on her face were related to the suffocation. The autopsy also showed traces of medication prescribed to the 10-year-old, which were found in the baby's system.
Greenaway said that when she confronted her coworker in the hospital, Huard was rude to her and left the hospital saying that she has to take care of her kids at home. “All I wanted is an apology and to have my friend at my side in this difficult time, especially since the baby died in her care,” said Greenaway. At that time Greenaway thought the baby died from SIDS. But after the autopsy showed that her baby was in perfect health, Greenaway was even more devastated realizing that her friend knew all along that her 10-year-old daughter killed the baby, yet she was so rude and unapologetic “That is simply unacceptable,” she said.
Police did not identify the 10-year-old who was arrested and charged with manslaughter. She is in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Department of Public Safety. She is scheduled to appear in Skowhegan District Court.
Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said: "She's the youngest child to be charged with manslaughter that I am aware of over the past 25 years."