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Babysitter charged in toddler’s death

Babysitter charged in toddler’s death

Vayda Vasquez

By Judy Reed

A Stanton woman has been arrested and arraigned on charges in the death of a child she was caring for.

Just after 5:30 a.m. on March 2, 2020, troopers responded to a residence on W. Stanton Rd. near N. Hillman Rd. in Montcalm County’s Douglass Township and found an unresponsive child, just under the age of two. Lifesaving attempts by troopers and Montcalm EMS personnel were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead on scene.

Following an autopsy at a Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids on March 3, 2020, the child’s death was ruled a homicide.

Kellie Jean Barthel

The child, identified as Vayda Vasquez, would’ve turned 2 last Wednesday, April 8, which also happened to be the day her babysitter, Kellie Jean Barthel, 36, was arrested by Michigan State Police troopers for her murder.

Barthel was arraigned on Friday, April 10, on charges of Open Murder, Child Abuse 1st Degree, and Felony Murder.

According to a report on MLive.com, Vayda’s grandmother, Shawnerie Russell, said the girl suffered massive head injuries, as well as injuries to her neck and back. She also told MLive that the suspect’s boyfriend had called 911 around 5:30 a.m. March 2 after finding the girl, but that Barthel took the phone and said the child was OK.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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