Day care provider charged with murder of 5-month-old boy in North Dakota

This photo shows Patricia Wick.
This photo shows Patricia Wick.(Stutsman County Jail)
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 2:49 PM EST
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CARRINGTON, N.D. (KVLY/Gray News) - Four months after a child was found unresponsive at a North Dakota day care, criminal charges have been filed against the woman prosecutors say caused the fatal injuries, KVLY reports.

Patricia Wick, 48, is charged with murder, child abuse and operating a day care without a license.

Police were called to Wick’s home on Sept. 26, 2022, for an unresponsive child.

A 5-month-old boy named Reed was life-flighted to a hospital where medical experts say he had “clearly suffered a traumatic head injury and subsequently had a cardiac arrest,” according to court documents. Reed died two days later and autopsy results stated he died as a result of complications of blunt-force head and neck trauma. His manner of death was determined to be a homicide.

When investigators spoke with Wick, she said that she had just fed Reed and laid him down. Court documents state that Wick said Reed woke up about 15 minutes later and woke up another child from crying. Wick said she put Reed on a blanket in the living room while she helped another child in the kitchen. A few minutes later, Wick said she heard Reed coughing and saw him vomiting, so she called Reed’s mother and 911.

Wick later admitted that she may have put Reed down too hard and may not have been gentle with him because “she was frustrated” with him that day, according to court documents.

During her interview with police, Wick also said that another child had broken his arm while in her care two weeks prior to Reed’s death.

When that child’s parents were interviewed, they stated the boy broke his arm while on Wick’s swing set. The parents said that they were not called after the incident. They say Wick told them when they arrived to pick their child up and say that Wick downplayed the boy’s injury. When they took the boy to the emergency room, it was determined he had a broken arm. Wick never inquired about the boy’s well-being after the incident, court documents say.

A search warrant was executed at Wick’s home on Sept. 28, where court documents say investigators found Wick’s swing set was not secured to the ground and could lift while in use.

Wick’s first appearance in court has not yet been set.

A GoFundMe was set up for the family shortly after Reed’s death. You can find it here.