Wisconsin Babysitter, Charged With Killing Infant, Dressed Dead Baby and Gave Him Back to His Mother Before Going Swimming

A Wisconsin babysitter charged with killing a 2-month-old boy in her care tried to hide the infant’s death from his mother and then went swimming at a Wausau hotel with her boyfriend and son, police say.

She dressed the baby in winter clothes and strapped him in a car seat, pretending he was alive during a trip to McDonald’s and continuing the ruse when she gave the boy back to his mom, court documents said.

Marissa Tietsort — 28, of Wausau — was charged Friday with first-degree intentional homicide in the baby’s death.

Family and friends of the 2-month-old boy filled the benches of a Marathon County, Wisconsin courtroom wearing “Justice for Benson” T-shirts featuring a photo of the infant. Judge Jill Falstad issued a $500,000 cash bond and ordered that Tietsort not have any contact with children under 18 or contact with the victim’s immediate family.

Tietsort has been in jail since October on a $250,000 cash bond in a separate child abuse case. If she is able to post bond, Tietsort is not allowed to leave Marathon County, the judge ruled.

According to a criminal complaint, Tietsort knew the child had died while in her care but did not tell the baby’s mother when she came to pick up her son. An autopsy shows the baby died of blunt force trauma to his head, the complaint said.

The 2-month-old boy’s mother dropped off the baby and his older brother at Tietsort’s home on North Sixth Street in Wausau in the afternoon of Oct. 18. The infant was awake and Tietsort was the only adult at the home when the victim’s mother left her children there, according to the complaint.

About two hours later, the baby’s mom got a text from Tietsort letting her know that there was a story about herself on a local news outlet’s website saying she had been charged with child abuse. Tietsort told the mother she was not allowed to be in contact with children and not to tell anyone she was watching her two sons. The mother came and picked up her sons about three hours later, according to the complaint.

When the victim’s mother came to pick up her infant and older son, the infant was seated in his car seat, wearing a snow suit with a hat pulled down over his eyes. The mother told police she believed her son was sleeping, as it was past 9 p.m., according to the complaint.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Wausau Daily Herald, Natalie Brophy