Murder charge filed against Iowa day care provider

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa day care provider has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 3-year-old girl she was watching in October.

Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister says 33-year-old Rochelle Sapp was arrested Thursday after test results confirmed that the girl, Autumn Elgersma, died of blunt force trauma.

Sapp was initially charged with willful injury and child endangerment, but McAllister dropped those charges on Oct. 31 when Autumn died. He says it was important to wait for a ruling on the cause of death and other tests to determine the appropriate charges.

Sapp is being held on $250,000 bond. It’s unclear if she has an attorney.

Sapp initially reported that Autumn had fallen but later said she threw her to the floor after becoming angry.

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