Utah babysitter charged with murder in death of 5-month-old

The infant is believed to have been severely shaken.

(Taylorsville Police Department) A woman has been charged with killing an infant she was babysitting in Taylorsville.

A 47-year-old babysitter has been charged with murder in the death of a 5-month-old infant who doctors believe died from shaken baby syndrome.

On Oct. 13, Taylorsville police were called to a home near 800 West and 4700 South, where babysitter Paulina Carmona-Simbron was watching the infant. Arriving officers found the little girl “unresponsive and not breathing,” according to a probable cause statement.

Although there were no visible signs of “foul play,” first responders told police they believed the child had suffered physical injuries, the document states.

Paramedics were able to restart the baby’s heart and transport her to Primary Children’s Hospital, but a doctor there told police she had suffered severe retinal hemorrhaging and severe “tearing in the brain” and would not survive.

According to the probable cause statement, a scan showed the baby’s injuries were caused by “severe and forceful motions … consistent [with] shaken baby syndrome.” The infant died the following day.

When questioned by police on Oct. 13, Carmona-Simbron said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the baby’s behavior that day — the fifth day she had babysat the child. She said she heard the baby cough and, when she picked the infant up, the baby turned white and then purple and stopped breathing.

A doctor told police the baby’s injuries would have required a “great amount of force.” According to the charging documents, a Primary Children’s Hospital doctor later reported that the baby’s injuries could not “plausibly be explained by accidental injury, pre-existing medical illness, reasonable discipline or benign events.”

A day later, the babysitter repeated her story. When a detective told Carmona-Simbron about the baby’s injuries, she asked if the infant might have been hurt in a fall, the charging documents state. But doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital determined the injuries could not have occurred that way.

Police asked the woman to demonstrate with a doll what happened, according to the probable cause statement. A detective observed her handle the doll “in a fashion that resembled violent and harsh movement,” at one point bouncing it on her knee without supporting its head.

According to a Taylorsville police detective, when investigators told Carmona-Simbron that the baby was not expected to survive, “Paulina showed no emotion to this news and only responded with an, ‘Oh.’”

Carmona-Simbron told police that no one else had cared for the baby, but added that she could not have caused the child’s injuries. She is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail.

Police have not released the name of the child, but a GoFundMe page apparently organized by the infant’s parents identified the baby as Aitana Ampudia Aguilar.

“No one should ever bury their daughter this way,” her parents, Guillermo Ampudia and Rosario Aguilar, wrote. “We will always love her with all our heart, and she will be forever missed by all our family and friends. RIP my little angel.”

As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe page had raised just over $7,000 of its $20,000 goal to help pay for the child’s funeral expenses.