Arrested: Jacobsen, Kelli Ann; 26 year of age female, Kennewick address
Charge: 1st Degree Manslaughter
On June 22, 2011 the Richland Police Department began investigating circumstances surrounding the death of 12 month old Ryder Morrison. At the time of Ryder's death Kelli Jacobsen was employed as a nanny.
Jacobsen was present on June 22 and called 911 to request an ambulance. Initial reports provided by Jacobsen to 911 personnel indicated that Ryder had fallen and hit the back of his head. Richland Fire paramedics transported Ryder to Kadlec hospital. Attending medical personnel said that the explanation of falling was not consistent with the presenting injury.
Due to bleeding in the brain, a neurosurgeon was called in to perform surgery. Ryder died as a result of his injuries.
An autopsy was performed. In addition, three other experts in the field were consulted, and provided Ryder’s medical and autopsy records. The report received from those experts found “Given his reported normal level of function reported by mother and the sitter during mother’s lunch break, his injuries almost certainly occurred after mother returned to work from that break”. The doctors also found that on the day of his death, Ryder sustained multiple bruises, severe intracranial and eye bleeding and neck muscle injury. They found that diffuse subdural bleeding such as Ryder sustained normally results from severe whiplash events that can also cause neck muscle and spinal cord bleeding. They concluded that the injuries were not consistent with the reported fall history and that the cause of death was closed head injury.
The results of the investigation have been reviewed by Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller. Mr. Miller filed an Information in Superior Court today charging Jacobsen with Manslaughter in the First Degree. The Information alleges that Jacobsen recklessly caused the death of Ryder Morrison by inflicting abusive head trauma. The crime was aggravated because Jacobsen knew or should have known that the victim was particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance due to extreme youth.
Jacobsen, along with her attorney, turned herself in at the Benton County Jail. She is being held on $100,000.00 bail.
A court hearing is scheduled today for 1:30 PM.
Contact Capt. Mike Cobb, 509-942-7362, for additional information.