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UPDATE: Girl Who Was Injured In Orange City Daycare Abuse Case Has Passed Away; Charges To Be Updated

Hand Cuffs sxcUPDATE: Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City daycare provider faces felony charges after reports of serious injury to a three-year-old child, who, according to Orange City Police Chief Dan Pottebaum, has now passed away.

The victim was Autumn Elgersma, 3-year-old daughter of Phillip and Jennifer Elgersma of Orange City. She passed away on Thursday, October 31, 2013, at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Her obituary can be found here, or on air on KIWA Radio.

This past Tuesday (October 29, 2013), officers with the Sioux Falls Police Department, the Orange City Police Department, and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office responded to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls to investigate a report of possible child abuse. Officers found a three-year-old Orange City girl with serious head injuries including a fractured skull and brain trauma.

The Orange City Police Department requested the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to further investigate the report of child abuse.

The child’s mother says that the child received the injuries while in the care of her daycare provider, 33-year-old Rochelle Lynn Sapp. Sapp runs an in-home daycare in Orange City. Sapp initially told investigators that the girl’s injuries occurred when she fell down a flight of stairs. However, the investigation revealed that the child’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down a flight of stairs and upon being questioned, Sapp admitted that she caused the child’s injuries by throwing the child to the floor.

Officers consulted with Sioux County Attorney, Coleman McAllister to determine if probable cause existed to obtain a warrant for Sapp’s arrest.

Authorities decided to arrest Sapp, so she was transported to the Sioux County Jail on Thursday morning (October 31). She faces charges of Willful Injury, and Child Endangerment Resulting in Serious Injury, both Class C felonies. She is scheduled to make her initial appearance in Sioux County District Court soon.

Police Chief Pottebaum reports however, that in light of the fact that Elgersma has now passed away, the charges against Sapp will be updated.

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