GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – A husband and wife are charged with murder after the death of their 1-year-old daughter. According to court documents, the child’s babysitter called 911 on May 28 saying that the baby was blue and not breathing.
When officers arrived at the Greenfield home they found the child’s mother, Jessica Wagoner, in an alley crying. Court documents describe the baby as cold to the touch, had discoloration on her stomach and a scrape on her forehead. A Greenfield Police Sergeant noted the baby had foam coming from her mouth and nose and several bruises.
Medics took the child to the hospital while detectives questioned the girl’s parents. A probable cause explains that 31-year-old Matthew Wagoner, the baby’s father, told detectives several times that “he was sorry several times and that he feels like a piece of [expletive].” It goes on to say that Matthew denied living at the home and said he just came over to watch the baby while his wife worked. Matthew told detectives he gave the baby a bath that morning and he put the baby in the stroller then walked to the Circle K nearby.
Court documents say Matthew said once they got back to the house, the baby fell off a bed and stopped breathing. That’s when he texted his wife to come home. The probable cause says Matthew did not call 911 or seek any other medical attention.
Detectives reported that Jessica says she texted the babysitter about what was happening and since the babysitter was closer to the house, the babysitter also headed over there. According to the probable cause, when the babysitter arrived she found Matthew doing CPR on the baby.
Jessica, 32, told detectives they recently moved into the house and both she and the baby weren’t feeling well. She told detectives the baby was sleeping a lot. Court documents detail a conversation Jessica had with detectives about what happened three days earlier.
Jessica said the babysitter’s daughter had dropped the baby on the sidewalk and the baby hit her head and elbow. Both Jessica and the babysitter agreed the baby was ok and the baby wasn’t taken to the hospital.
The baby died at the hospital on May 28. After the death, detectives called the Department of Child Services. Court documents say as the two parents were sitting outside the emergency room, Jessica told Matthew that “it is okay you did not mean to.” Documents go on to say that Matthew said Jessica and he haven’t been together since February 2014 but since she was pregnant he stayed nearby.
Jessica admitted, according to court documents, that child protective services was called on the pair after she had previously taken the baby to a nearby hospital, and Matthew was worried they would be called again in this most recent incident.
Doctors noted the baby’s arm was also broken and that the break was about four to six weeks old. Jessica told detectives she didn’t know about that break. An autopsy revealed the baby had multiple blunt force trauma injuries, including a lacerated liver. A doctor noted the injuries documented would not be consistent with a 21 to 22-inch fall.
Jessica later told detectives that DCS forbid Matthew and her to see each other because of an ongoing investigation. She went on to say that a doctor who saw the baby a little more than a week before her death for a wellness check said the little girl was fine.
Court documents explain that when a detective told Jessica that the baby “had lived in hell for a year due to all the previous injuries throughout the year” she didn’t acknowledge any of the previous injuries. They go on to say that Jessica claimed she never hurt her daughter and “every time I turned around there was CPS knocking on my door.” She also told detectives that she didn’t trust Matthew with her children.
The probable causes describe that Matthew said that Jessica hit the baby on several occasions. Detectives told Matthew it was possible that the baby wasn’t alive when he took her to the gas station during the walk. Matthew then said that he and Jessica made up the story and Jessica told him through text messages to go to the gas station.
Court documents say Matthew said he was just covering for his wife. They further explained that it was planned for Matthew to text Jessica that they baby fell off the bed and wasn’t breathing. Text messages revealed the couple was concerned about CPS getting involved which is why Matthew didn’t stop at the hospital on the way to the gas station.
Both Matthew and Jessica Wagoner face charges of murder and neglect of a dependent. They’re expected in court Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
Separate from the May 28 incident, Matthew also faces child exploitation charges and child molesting charges in another case.