By Shereen Siewert
A 5-year-old child who died 10 days after being admitted to the hospital had a skull fracture and brain bleed, and a positive test for having alcohol in her system, court documents filed Wednesday in Wausau show.
Now, her parents are facing criminal charges in connection with her death. Sumitra Stolp, 36, is facing the most serious charges including first-degree reckless homicide, neglecting a child, chronic neglect of a child and resisting or obstructing an officer. Her husband, 39-year-old Jonathan Stolp, faces charges of neglecting a child, chronic neglect of a child and resisting or obstructing an officer. The couple, who adopted the child just six weeks before she died, list a Weston address but moved from Eau Claire to Weston in early August.
Both appeared Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court.
In a 12-page criminal complaint, police lay out a case against the child’s parents, whose stories changed multiple times while speaking with investigators. Initially, the child’s parents told police they took the girl to the park to play, when she fell and landed on her head. Hours later, the couple said, they awoke to find their daughter having a seizure and called for an ambulance. SAFER responded and transported the girl to Marshfield Medical Center, where doctors had her transported to Marshfield for further treatment based on her condition.
In a later interview with police, both parents said they gave the girl medicine to ease her cough but denied giving her anything to aid in sleep. Later, they allegedly told police they realized they had given the child a double dose of liquid Tylenol PM, and admitted giving the girl “a little bit” of Nyquil, a night time cold medicine for adults “a couple times when she really, really isn’t sleeping,” court documents state.
Sumi Stolp’s story continued to change as she spoke with investigators.
In a subsequent interview, Sumi Stolp told police she was rocking the child in a recliner and the child “threw herself back” and fell to the floor. But later, she allegedly told police she got out of the recliner holding the girl, tripped and fell with the girl. Sumi Stolp also admitted she lied about the child falling in the park, court documents show.
But pediatric specialists in Marshfield said the child had a significant skull fracture that wrapped around both sides of the skull, injuries that appeared consistent with a non-accidental trauma such as shaking or slamming a child. The girl also had a fractured right foot, according to the doctor’s report.
Police say the girl was given six times the recommended dose of Tylenol, which can be toxic, along with the Nyquil, which contains 10 percent alcohol.
During his initial appearance Wednesday, Jon Stolp was ordered held on a $75,000 bond with the first $7,500 to be paid in cash. Sumi Stolp’s $75,000 cash bond, ordered during an Aug. 18 probable cause hearing, remains in place. The couple was also ordered not to have any contact with each other, or with anyone younger than 18 without supervision.
Sumi Stolp is due in court Oct. 6 for a preliminary hearing with Circuit Judge Greg Strasser. A pretrial conference for Jon Stolp is set for Dec. 17 with Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson.
Both suspects remained behind bars as of Wednesday afternoon.