Daycare worker admits to murdering 3-year-old because she ‘refused to take her coat off’

Daycare worker admits to murdering 3-year-old because she ‘refused to take her coat off’

It all makes a kind of perverse sense in a world where increasingly adult actions toward children arise out of impulses that form in the spleen, rather than the brain. In this instance the owner of a daycare facility was confronted with a 3-year-old girl who “refused to take her coat off.” So “the adult in the room,” 33-year-old Rochelle Lynn Sapp, threw the child to the ground with such force that it fractured her skull. She died two days after sustaining the injury.

The Associated Press reports via the Huffington Post that Sapp was arrested last Thursday after an autopsy and other test results confirmed that the child, Autumn Elgersma, died of blunt force head trauma and her death was ruled a homicide by the Iowa medical examiner.

Day Care Provider DeathOn Friday, Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister charged Sapp with first-degree murder. She is currently in jail after bond was set at $250,000.

According to McAllister, Sapp was offering daycare services at her Orange City, Iowa, home on Oct. 29 when the child “experienced serious head injuries.” Sapp initially told police that Autumn was hurt when she accidentally fell down some stairs. Under interrogation, Sapp wilted and admitted to having hurled the child against the floor in a moment of rage.

Early charges of willful injury and child endangerment were dropped in favor of murder. McAllister explains:

In this case the initial charges were based on the medical evidence and opinion available to the state at that time. Upon Autumn’s death, the circumstances changed. The medical examiner’s office in Des Moines took time to make sure they did a thorough and complete examination and we like everybody else was waiting for them to render an opinion for us to evaluate so we could move forward with charges.

Autumn’s parents, Philip and Jennifer Elgersma, issued a statement to KTIV on Friday:

Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of our little girl. The prayers offered by others on our behalf are giving us the strength to get though this very difficult time. Autumn was a joy in our lives and we are blessed to have called her ours. We take comfort in the fact that she is now with her Savior, Jesus Christ. We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family.

Related Articles

Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook.


Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments