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Daycare Provider Charged With Murder

(Orange City) -- Murder in the first degree and child endangerment resulting in a death.  Those are charges filed against 33 year old Rochelle Sapp of Orange City, Iowa  for the death of three year old Autumn Elgersma also of Orange City.  Sapp provided day care service for the three year old when on October 29th, an incident occured at her home resulting in the hospitalization of little Autumn.  The child was initially taken to the Orange City hospital then transferred to a Sioux Falls hospital where she died three days later.  Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister spoke to the media during a news conference held Thursday about the new charges against Sapp.  McAllister says an autopsy was performed by the State Medical Examiner's office in Ankeny and found that the three year old girl died as a result of blunt force head trauma.  The Sioux County attorney says the death of the little girl has been ruled as a homicide.  McAllister told reporters Sapp was arrested at her home early Thursday morning without incident.  Bond has been set at $250,000.  Initial charges against Sapp were dismissed following the death of the child, and McAlister was asked why there was a month delay before additional charges had been filed.  The Sioux County attorney told reporters "the death of a child is a serious matter, and in any investigation involving a child's death, or any suspicious death, it is important the investigation is careful, thorough, complete and comprehensive.  In this case, the initial charges were made based upon the medical evidence and opinion available to the state at that time."  McAllister continued by saying, "Upon Autumn's death, the circumstances changed.  The Medical Examiner's office in Des Moines, to their credit, took the time to make sure they did a thorough and complete examination.  We, like everyone else was waiting for them to render an opinion for us to evaluate so we could move forward with charges.  That was the reason for the delay."      

 Sapp is scheduled to make her initial appearance in Sioux County District Court on Friday, December 6.

 

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