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Farmington daycare provider charged in 2012 death of infant

A 45-year-old Farmington woman has been charged with manslaughter after a 3-month-old child in her care died last summer.

Rebecca Lynn Graupmann has been charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree and one count of endangerment of a child, one count of neglect of a child and interference with a death scene. The charges all relate to the death of 3-month-old Kaiden Robert Staebell. Graupmann was the child's daycare provider.

A criminal complaint was filed May 21 with the Dakota County, according to a press release from county attorney James Backstrom.

Farmington police were called to the Graupmann residence around 3 p.m. on July 31, 2012, on the report that a child in the home had stopped breathing, was unresponsive, and was "blue and cold."

Paramedics on the scene attempted to revive the child, but were unable to do so. The child, identified as Staebell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Backstrom's release, Graupmann's account to police changed several times when confronted with new details about the scene. She initially told police the child had fallen asleep in his car seat and was fine, but then changed the story when police asked about a wet spot and what appeared to be blood on a comforter on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. She first told police she had laid the child there to change his diaper, but later indicated he had napped on the bed in the morning.

After police pointed out the comforter would not still be wet that many hours later, Graupmann admitted to laying the child down on the bed in the afternoon, then moving him downstairs after she discovered he was no longer breathing. She admitted, according to the release, that "he was cold to the touch, his lips were blue, he had blood around his nose."

Graupmann said the child was on his back when she put him on the bed, but that his head was turned to the side when she found him not breathing, according to the release. Both of the child's parents told police Kaiden was not yet able to roll over or turn from his back to his side, according to the complaint.

The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy determined that the bleeding from Kaiden's nose and evidence collected at the scene led to the conclusion that the child died of probable positional asphyxia.

Graupmann will make her first appearance on the charges May 22. Both of the manslaughter charges are felonies. The remaining three counts are considered gross misdemeanors.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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