HAMILTON, Ohio -- A Hanover Township woman fatally assaulted a 3-year-old in her care last month after Hannah Wesche exhibited toddler behavior, according to recently filed court documents.
Lindsay Partin, 36, of Shank Road, is charged with murder, four counts of felony endangering children, and involuntary manslaughter after Wesche died.
The toddler suffered significant and severe bruising to her face, chest and neck on March 6 because Partin says Hannah “dumped ketchup in the toilet,” according to court documents filed by Butler County prosecutors, WCPO news partner the Journal-News reported.
Two days later, after Hannah’s father, Jason Wesche, dropped off his daughter, Partin recklessly abused the toddler resulting in traumatic brain injury, cervical spinal cord hemorrhage and optic nerve sheath hemorrhages, according to the court documents
Wesche and other family members said Partin was a trusted neighbor. They would have never imagined the abuse allegations.
"I can't believe that somebody would take such an innocent child away from us," Hannah's aunt, Megan Latham told WCPO.
At about 7 a.m. March 8, Hanover Township emergency crews and Butler County sheriff’s deputies responded to Partin’s residence for an unconscious child. They found Hannah unresponsive with labored breathing, according to the sheriff’s office.
Hannah was taken by medical helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. After further investigation, detectives and hospital personnel noted additional bruising on the child’s body. The child died in the hospital day later.
In the 911 call placed to county dispatchers, Partin identifies herself and says Hannah “all of a sudden, she just passed out.”
Partin says she baby-sits kids and that Hannah had fallen the day before.
“She fell real bad yesterday … I thought she was fine,” Partin says. She tells the dispatcher in the 13-minute call that Hannah’s father also is with the girl.
Jason Wesche is heard saying, “Hannah breathe. Breathe for Daddy.”
After the girl was dropped off, Partin said the toddler went in the house and “passed out.”
Partin admitted to striking the child and stated the girl had fallen and struck her head on a concrete garage floor the previous day, according to police reports.
"This is a person who was trusted to care for Hannah," Latham said. "Unfortunately, come to find out Hannah was being cared for by a monster."
Partin has pleaded not guilty to all charges. She is free on $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Butler County Common Pleas Court next month for a pre-trial hearing.
She and her attorney, Melinda Cook Howard, are maintaining her innocence.
"She is an active member of her church. She has the support of her family," Cook Howard said. "And she has every reason to proceed forward and appear in this matter and defend herself in this."