Rogers Babysitter Accused in Baby’s Death

Melissa Garcia-Rivera, 21_1507915378500.jpg

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A Rogers babysitter has been arrested in connection with the death of an infant on Thursday, authorities say. 

The Rogers Police Department says Melissa Garcia-Rivera, 21, was taken into custody after one of the infants she babysits died. 

She was booked into the Benton County Detention Center and faces a charge of manslaughter, according to jail records. 

On Tuesday, an eight-month-old infant was taken to Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. Police say the baby was dead when she arrived at the hospital, was soaked in sweat and had a temperature of 100.5 degrees. 

The babysitter is accused of placing two pillows and a fleece blanket (totaling nearly eight pounds) upon the infant while attempting to put her down for a nap, authorities said. 

She told police the infant was being fussy and didn’t want to sleep after having the blanket placed on her. So, she put one pillow on top of the blanket to stop the infant from pushing herself up with her arms. After the infant pushed herself up again, the babysitter said she grew frustrated and threw a second pillow on top of the first, instead of placing it there gently, according to police. 

On Thursday, she requested to speak with police again, saying she was in shock during the first interview. During this second interview, the babysitter accused officers of “using interview techniques” to get her to reveal information that wasn’t true, police said. She then changed her story about what happened when the infant died. 

An autopsy upon the infant was “inconclusive” and revealed there was no trauma, defect or disease that would have led to her death. 

An arrest warrant was later issued for Garcia-Rivera. Jail records show no bond has been issued for her.

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