A court affidavit says that Malinda Bautista, 33, "shook Madilyne Wentz until she lost consciousness" on Tuesday due to the fact that the child was "irritable and crying that afternoon."
The affidavit says that Bautista called 911 and started rescue breaths. Wentz was taken to Jackson County Hospital and flown by helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. On Thursday Wentz was pronounced dead. The Tulsa County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death a homicide due to shaken baby syndrome.
Jackson County Sheriff Morris Roberts said Tulsa authorities notified the Altus Police Department after it became apparent that the baby's injuries were due to shaken baby syndrome. Roberts said that the child's mother, Rachael Summer Wentz, is a traveling salesperson whose work brought her to Altus. He said she chose Bautista from a list of licensed daycare providers given her by DHS. Roberts said Bautista told investigators what happened and voluntarily turned herself in Friday afternoon.
According to Dustin Pyeatt, a spokesman with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Bautista's daycare center at 20440 East County Road 1586 in Altus was a one-star facility approved for oversight of up to seven children. A one-star facility is the lowest classification of daycare center licensed by the state. Pyeatt says most daycare centers are two-star or above. A center achieves a higher level by meeting certain criteria, such as having an employee with a degree in education.
To receive a basic license, Bautista had to undergo at least 12 hours of training a year on such topics as CPR, First Aid, health and safety and use of a fire extinguisher.
Pyeatt said that Bautista has agreed to a voluntary cease care order, meaning that she will not provide child care should she post bond.