A Paynesville woman is accused of withholding care of her 13-year-old daughter with disabilities, allowing her to die.
Elise Nelson, 35, is charged with second-degree intentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection to the June 21 death of her daughter, Kylie Larson.
According to the criminal complaint, Kylie had "significant" medical problems and disabilities, including chronic respiratory failure and a severe developmental delay, caused by loss of oxygen at birth. As a result, she needed 24-hour medical care.
In June, Nelson's current husband was on a fishing trip and her other child was staying at a family friend's home, leaving Nelson home with Kylie for four days, starting June 18.
Kylie wore a pulse oximeter that would sound an alarm to alert her caretaker when her oxygen levels or pulse weren't in the normal range. Twice on the morning of June 20, the alarm sounded and Nelson silenced it and then turned off the machine, meaning nothing was monitoring Kylie's levels, according to data the machine retains, the criminal complaint states.
On Sunday, June 21, at 12:32 a.m., Nelson turned the machine back on over the next several hours, the alarm sounded multiple times – Nelson silenced the alarm every time or manipulated the machine to lower the point at which it sounds an alarm, the complaint said.
That afternoon, at 1:09 p.m., Nelson called 911. Officers arrived minutes later, where they found Kylie on the floor of the living room. She was cold to the touch and showed signs that she had not recently died.
She was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Officers asked Nelson what happened. She told them her oxygen levels dropped and then she "flatlined," so she performed CPR for an hour before calling 911. Officers at the scene said it didn't look like Nelson had exerted herself for an hour performing CPR.
The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office determined Kylie's cause of death was bilateral bronchopneumonia related to injuries sustained during her birth, adding that because Nelson intentionally deprived care resulting in her death, the manner of Kylie's death was homicide.
Nelson made her first court appearance on Thursday during which her unconditional bail was set at $500,000, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office says.
Kylie's obituary describes her as the family's "gift from God," adding that "her smile was so beautiful it radiated love and joy to all."
"She loved being outside and moving around, whether it be spinning around in her chair, going for walks with friends and family, or traveling to new places," the obituary said.
Kylie was a student at Paynesville Middle School.