Autumn Elgersma Rochelle Sapp

An Iowa daycare owner has been arrested and charged with the death of a 3-year-old girl left in her care by her working mother.

Autumn Elgersma died 2 days after Rochelle Sapp threw her to the floor for refusing to remove her coat.

According to court documents obtained by KTIV, Sapp called Autumn’s mother and told her the child injured herself after falling down a flight of steps.

But doctors who treated Autumn at Sioux Falls, S.D., children’s hospital said her traumatic head injuries were not the result of falling down stairs.

Autumn died of a skull fracture and brain swelling, according to court documents obtained by KDLT.

Sapp admitted she threw the child to the floor during a second interview with investigators following Autumn’s death.

Sapp was charged with willful injury and child endangerment, but more charges are expected.

Autumn’s grieving parents, Philip and Jennifer Elgersma, released the following statement:

“Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of our little girl. The prayers offered by others on our behalf are giving us the strength to get though this very difficult time. Autumn was a joy in our lives and we are blessed to have called her ours. We take comfort in the fact that she is now with her Savior, Jesus Christ. We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family.”

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