Fayette County woman faces charges for delaying to seek help for injured baby who died

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A Fayette County woman delayed seeking medical attention for her daughter, likely contributing to the toddler’s death last month, according to court documents filed today.

Pennsylvania State Police in Indiana today charged Jessica Burkholder, 28, of Mill Run, with endangering the welfare of her daughter, 20-month-old Caylee Burkholder. Caylee died in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC last month.

State police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause that Ms. Burkholder told them she saw her husband, Domer Burkholder, 30, of Uniontown, punch her daughter in the stomach.

Ms. Burkholder told police, according to the affidavit, that Caylee vomited four times in 10 or 15 minutes, then turned over and fell asleep. When Ms. Burkholder awoke the next morning, Caylee’s lips were blue, her eyes rolled and she had marks on her stomach, police said.

Ms. Burkholder “didn’t want to take her to the hospital because she knew Children and Youth Services would take her kids off of her,” police wrote.

They also wrote that a doctor who treated Caylee told them, “The injury which she sustained may have been survivable and she could have made a full recovery had a caretaker brought her to medical attention immediately after the event.”

Mr. Burkholder is being held in the Fayette County Prison while he awaits a Jan. 29 preliminary hearing on charges of homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, according to online court records.

An attorney for Ms. Burkholder could not immediately be reached for comment.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.

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