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Babysitter charged after infant dies in her care

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WPTA21) — A babysitter in Whitley County is facing serious criminal charges.

The toddler she was caring for died.

29-year old Courtney Kincaid faces charges of aggravated battery, battery resulting in death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

The case dates all the way back to April 2018, when police say Kincaid was at her home outside Columbia City babysitting 11-month old Emma Leeman.

Kincaid summoned emergency responders, telling them at the time, she called for help because when she went to wake up the little girl, “she was lifeless and wasn’t breathing.”

But the physician who treated the child at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne said, in his opinion, “something either struck the head of the child or the head was struck against something.”

The little girl didn’t survive, and the coroner involved reported cause of death as blunt force traumatic injuries to the head, ruling it a homicide.

At that time, Kincaid said she knew nothing about Emma Leeman suffering significant injuries while she was watching her.

Court documents say back in August of last year, Kincaid submitted to a polygraph test.

She didn’t admit to wrongdoing, but the person giving the test said on the device her answers registered “deception indicated.”

In a follow-up interview, court papers say Kincaid then told an investigator that when she picked Emma up and she went limp, “she panicked and dropped her because she couldn’t hold on to her.”

When the investigator said her account didn’t seem to add up, the probable cause affidavit indicates Kincaid “changed her story again”, saying that while she was outside that day, the other kids she was babysitting for “…bumped her leg, she lost her balance, and lost grip of (Emma Leeman).” She said she dropped the child onto the concrete patio.

Whitley County prosecutor D.J. Sigler says it took 13 months to file charges because it’s a highly complex medical case.

Kincaid posted bond and is set to appear in Whitley Circuit Court on Monday morning for her initial hearing.

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