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Daycare provider pleads guilty in child's 2012 death

A Farmington daycare provider pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter Thursday in connection with the 2012 death of a 3-month-old child left in her care.

Kaiden Robert Staebell died July 31, 2012 after daycare provider Rebecca Lynn Graupmann, 46, left him to nap on her daughter’s bed. According to a criminal complaint filed May 20 last year, Farmington police responded to a call of a child who had stopped breathing.

Graupmann initially told police Staebell had fallen asleep in his car seat after she had fed him. But when police found a wet spot and blood on a comforter in an upstairs bedroom she eventually admitted she had laid him on his back on the bed and left him there while she chores. She checked on him later and he had rolled onto his side. She left him there, and later found him with blue lips and blood around his nose.

Graupmann told police she “freaked out” when she found the boy dead. As police asked why she initially lied about where she had laid the boy she repeated several times that she shouldn’t have left him on the bed.

Staebell’s mother told police she had repeatedly told Graupmann her son should sleep on his back and had even given her the message in writing.

Three will be a pre-sentencing hearing for Graupmann at 9:30 a.m. April 15 in Hastings. Additional charges for second-degree manslaughter, endangerment of a child, neglect of a child and interference with a death scene will be dismissed at sentencing.

“We are pleased the defendant accepted responsibility for her actions that caused the death of a child in her care,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement Friday. “Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Kaiden Staebell for their great loss.” 

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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