Police say babysitter shook infant to death - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Police say babysitter shook infant to death

Brenda J. Pratt (Source: Mansfield Police) Brenda J. Pratt (Source: Mansfield Police)
MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) - Mansfield Police say 61-year-old Brenda Pratt shook a ten-week-old baby so hard, the infant died.

"This is one of those, truly a shaken baby case," said Sgt. Ken Carroll of the Mansfield Police Department.

Police are not releasing the name of the baby or her family.

"It's a juvenile, and we are going to treat it like any other juvenile case," said Carroll.

Police say Pratt was babysitting the infant along with at least two other children in their home when the injuries occurred. The infant girl was rushed to Akron Children's Hospital where she died two weeks later.  

"She was just the babysitter while they (the parents) were away. I know they left the state, and left the baby and the other children in the care of this lady," added Carroll.

Tuesday Pratt went before a judge. She's charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering a child and felonious assault. 

No one answered the door at Pratt's Mansfield home when we went looking for comment from a relative or friend.

Investigators say they're seeing a rash of crimes against children lately. 

"We had three baby cases that came within a two week period of time. It put a lot of stress on our detectives here," said Carroll, who has these crucial words of advice for parents who feel like they may be about to lose control:

"Make sure the child is in a safe place, and sit down, and walk away for a few minutes, and then come back, and care for your child."

Pratt is being held at the Mansfield County Jail on a $1 million cash bond. If she is convicted on the murder charge, she faces at least 15 years in prison.  

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