Saturday, March 08, 2008

Toddler suffered fatal seizures caused by abusive stepmother

A 27-year-old Wichita woman was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old stepdaughter.

Katie Robertson fought to retain her composure as she heard the charge in Sedgwick County District Court. She is accused of killing Daytona Robertson, the daughter of her husband of just a few months.

Her bond was set at $100,000, and her preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 19.
Daytona died Wednesday at Wesley Medical Center, four days after she was brought to the hospital by ambulance, Capt. Randy Landen said.

Katie Robertson called 911 at about 5 p.m. on Feb. 22 to report that the girl was having seizures at their home in the 400 block of North Harding. Doctors at Wesley called police after determining the seizures were caused by "blunt force trauma" to the head, Landen said.

"It would have to be new injuries," Landen said. "I'm not aware of a history of seizures prior to this particular instance."

An autopsy was performed Friday, and Landen said he hoped it would provide answers about how the fatal injury occurred.

Another small child was present in the home when Daytona's seizures began, but investigators were only able to get "limited" information from the child, Landen said.

Daytona's father was not home at the time of the 911 call, he said.

The couple met last fall and had been married a few months, Landen said. Records show the couple obtained a marriage license in December.

Two children, ages 1 and 6, were taken into protective custody and have been released to their biological fathers, Landen said.

A memorial fund has been set up for Daytona at Chisholm Trail State Bank. Donations can be mailed to the bank at Box 4658, Wichita, KS 67204. They can also be dropped off at the bank's branches in Bel Aire or Park City.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Downing & Lahey Mortuary East.


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