Nanny gave 3 accounts of baby's death, warrant says - Omaha.com
Published Friday, March 8, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 7:10 pm
Nanny gave 3 accounts of baby's death, warrant says

A 4-month-old Omaha boy who died had suffered two skull fractures and a brain injury under the care of his nanny, according to Douglas County court records.

Sarah A. Cullen, 24, the woman charged in the death of Cash Christopher Bell, gave investigators three versions of what happened, the records show.

Cullen is charged with felony child abuse resulting in death. She was arrested Thursday night at the home of a friend.

Bail for Cullen was set Friday at $50,000. She must post 10 percent of that amount to be released from jail.

Cash died Tuesday, five days after arriving at a hospital emergency room in critical condition. He was the son of Christopher J. and Ashley Bell.

According to the arrest warrant:

The Bells told investigators that they turned a normal-acting Cash over to Cullen before leaving for work Feb. 28.

They described a baby with an appetite who made eye contact and held their hands as they prepared for the day and picked out his clothes.

About 9:15 a.m., Christopher Bell returned home briefly to retrieve a checkbook. He told investigators that his son was in a Pack-N-Play, lying on his stomach.

Cash's breathing sounded odd, but Christopher Bell attributed it to his son's sleeping position. He rolled Cash onto his back, but didn't pick him up because he appeared to be sleeping, according to the warrant.

As Christopher Bell pulled out of the drive to return to work, Cullen stepped outside the door with Cash in her arms. The boy likely had already been injured, investigators said.

About 10 a.m., Cullen called her boyfriend, a volunteer firefighter.

She was worried about Cash's breathing and asked her boyfriend to come over to check the baby. Before the boyfriend arrived, Cash's breathing grew worse and she administered CPR.

The boyfriend pulled his car up to the house. She rushed out with Cash and the two took him to the emergency room, arriving about 11 a.m.

Cullen gave three accounts of what happened. She first said she didn't know how the injury occurred, but that Cash might have hit his head on the door as she went outside.

She then said Cash fell out of his baby swing.

She later admitted those were lies, according to the warrant, and offered another explanation.

About 8 a.m., she fell on the stairs, Cash dropped from her arms and his head hit the tile floor at the base of the steps.

The arrest warrant said none of the accounts explained the severity of Cash's injuries.

Cullen has a young child and is pregnant, said Marty Bilek, chief deputy of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Child Protective Services is involved in the case.

Cash Christopher Bell

Contact the writer: 402-444-1304, mary.rezac@owh.com

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