The Hamilton County Prosecutor today released new information in the death of a one year old boy, allegedly at the hands of his babysitter. 36 year old Marquita Burch now faces new charges, and prosecutors say she had the chance to save the one year old's life-and failed to do so.
The Grand Jury today indicted Burch on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and two counts of endangering children. Those charges are in addition to the ones she previously faced-abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence-in the death of 1-year-old William Cunningham.
Prosecutor Joe Deters says a report by the Hamilton County Coroner shows Cunningham died of subdural hematoma, or a collection of blood on the brain. Deters now says that Burch, who was friends with Cunningham's mother, had been babysitting for him for several weeks in her home on Sheehan Avenue in Hartwell.
The prosecutor says Cunningham was injured on May 22nd and died the next day. The coroner believes that if Burch had sought medical attention for the boy, he likely would have lived.
Instead, according to Prosecutor Deters, Burch put the child in a garbage bag after he died, and took the corpse to her cousin's house on Friday, May 25th. She then reported the child missing to the police in Covington, Kentucky. Covington Police started a massive search for the supposedly missing baby.
On May 26th, Cincinnati Police recovered the baby's body in the cousin's home.
If convicted of all charges, Burch faces the possibility of life in prison.
Burch previously claimed that the boy was accidentally injured in a fall on some steps. In her initial arraignment in May, Burch's lawyer Eric Gustafson said his client told him she gave the boy some ibuprofen after his fall. She claims when she checked on the boy the next morning, she found him dead.
After reporting him missing, Burch told Local 12 News in an interview that William was her nephew. She said she arrived at the City Heights Housing Complex and went into an apartment to get some clothes. When she returned she claimed William was gone.
"He was at the park with the kids. I got out the car, we came down the side panel right here and I watched him go toward the kids. I just went upstairs to get some clothes, when I came back it was kids everywhere. There was kids going in the woods, there was kids at park over there getting wet, kids at the basketball court when I came back out I told the kids to go get him because we was about to leave and the little boy said he saw him walk over that way," Burch said.
William Cunningham’s mother, Kiara Carter, told Local 12 News, “He was a loving boy. Everybody loved him. He always made you smile. He was a good boy I can't believe somebody would do this to me. Not only did they take my baby they took my heart. He owned my heart,” Carter said.