Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Babysitter Slammed Baby on Changing Table, Prosecutors Allege

Sarah Gumm. Police photo.

A Waukeegan, Il., babysitter is charged with first-degree murder after a 3-month-old girl in her care died on July 27. Prosecutors say Sarah Gumm, 33, became frustrated while changing Rylan Koopmeiner’s diaper and slammed the infant on the table, causing a severe skull fracture. An autopsy determined that the fracture was the cause of death. “It was the medical examiner’s opinion that an extreme amount of force had to have been used to cause that fracture,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Ari Fisz in court today when Gumm made an appearance.

Police say the child’s parents, Nathan and Reggan Koopmeiner, who live just over the state line in Kenosha, Wis., dropped Rylan off at Gumm’s house around 6:45 a.m., as they had been doing every workday for six weeks. That afternoon, Gumm called police, saying the baby was not breathing. She claimed she heard the child was napping when she heard her make a gurgling sound, but in a police interview on August 2, Gumm allegedly admitted to hurting the child. According to police, Gumm said she had left the child alone in the house while she went to the store. Records obtained by police show Gumm using her credit card twice that day. In court, Fisz said Gumm told police that she became frustrated when the baby was fussing as she was trying to change her diaper. “She was holding the child up above the table. She got frustrated,” said Fisz.

Gumm is being held in lieu of $3 million bond. Her next scheduled court appearance is August 16.

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