Daycare Owner Charged with Murder After She Slammed Young Toddler To Death

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 A northwest Iowa day care provider was charged Thursday with murder in the death of a 3-year-old girl she was watching in late October.

Rochelle Sapp, 33, was arrested Thursday morning after an autopsy and other test results confirmed that the girl, Autumn Elgersma, died of blunt force head injury and her death was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner, Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister said.

Sapp was in the Sioux County Jail and due to appear before a judge within the next 24 hours. Bond was set at $250,000, McAllister said.

She is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. Her case was not yet listed in online court records, and it appeared an attorney had not yet been assigned.

Sapp was providing day care services at her home in Orange City on Oct. 29 when Autumn suffered serious head injuries, McAllister said.

She initially was charged with willful injury and child endangerment, but McAllister dropped the charges when Autumn died two days later at a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. He said it was important to wait for a ruling on the cause of death and other tests to determine the appropriate charges.

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