KEY POINTS

  • Jennifer Johnson has been charged with second-degree murder
  • She is held without bond at Boone County Jail
  • It was found that she has a history of assault

A babysitter who has been charged with the murder of an 8-month-old baby in Missouri already knew that the baby had died even before being informed about the infant's death hours later, police allege.

Jennifer Johnson, 44, of Fayette was charged with second-degree murder Monday for the death of the 8-month-old baby under her care.

Johnson was babysitting the infant and two other siblings, aged 2 and 3, at the children's residence starting at 5 p.m. Saturday. When the children's parents came home the morning after a night out, they found the baby unresponsive and cool to touch. The infant was only wearing a diaper and had bruises on her body, reported Columbia Daily Tribune.

The parents took the unresponsive baby and their other two children to the hospital. However, the infant was declared dead at 8:45 a.m. The child's father returned home at 11 a.m. and informed Johnson that the baby had passed away.

Johnson reportedly claimed that she had not been aware of the baby's death until the father told her. However, according to court documents, she called one of her friends at 9:11 a.m. Sunday and shared that the baby had died. Johnson then asked her friend to meet her at a different house in the 1100 block of Elleta Boulevard.

A hospital employee also told the investigators that they had received a call from Johnson Sunday morning. In the call, Johnson reportedly said something like, "her head, her head" and "she's gone."

The baby died by being shaken or hit, the criminal complaint alleges.

During the police interview, Johnson said that she had last seen the baby alive at 2:15 a.m. Sunday when she bottle-fed the infant. Investigators found traces of baby formula on Johnson's clothes. Meanwhile, a swab test of the same shirt came back positive for blood.

The investigators also recovered a wet pink onesie from the kitchen pantry shelf. It was what the infant was wearing when the parents left home Saturday evening.

Johnson has a history of assault. She was charged with two counts of assault in Howard County in 2019 for strangling and biting another woman, ABC17 reported.

She is now being held without bond at Boone County Jail. She was scheduled for an initial arraignment Tuesday.

onesie-3392524_640 The parents found the 8-month-old baby unresponsive and cold when they came back Sunday morning. Photo: pixabay