Orange City toddler dead after daycare incident - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Orange City toddler dead after daycare provider admits throwing child to the floor


An Orange City, Iowa toddler has died from head injuries police say came at the hands of her daycare provider.

Three-year old Autumn Elgersma died Thursday, October 31 at the Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

She's the daughter of Phillip and Jennifer Elgersma.  Their daycare provider now faces several charges.

Police said the child was injured in the home of Rochelle Sapp at 706 10th Street SE, on the eastern edge of Orange City, Iowa.

It's the location of an "in home" daycare run by the 33-year-old Sapp.

Shortly after 9:00am on Tuesday, October 29, a criminal affidavit states Sapp called Jennifer Elgersma and told her Autumn had fallen down the stairs.

The mother took Autumn from the home and brought her to the Orange City hospital where she was diagnosed with a head injury.

The girl was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where doctors discovered the child suffered a fractured skull and brain trauma.

Authorities say Autumn died two days later.

According to Orange City Police Chief Jim Pottebaum, Rochelle Sapp later admitted that she threw the girl to the floor after she refused to take off her coat.

Sapp was originally charged with Willful Injury and Child Endangerment Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.

Chief Pottebaum said those charges will be amended because of the child's death.

Philip and Jennifer Elgersma, Autumn's parents, issued a statement Friday afternoon:

"Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of our little girl. The prayers offered by others on our behalf are giving us the strength to get though this very difficult time. Autumn was a joy in our lives and we are blessed to have called her ours. We take comfort in the fact that she is now with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family."

A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, November 5, at 11:00am, at the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Orange City.

Visitation starts at 4:00pm on Monday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, at the church.

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