Arkansas babysitter pleads not guilty in death of infant

Published 8 December 2017

An Arkansas babysitter pleaded not guilty Thursday to a manslaughter charge she faces after an 8-month-old girl who was in her care died, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Previous coverage shows Melissa Garcia-Rivera, 21, of Rogers, was arrested Oct. 12, two days after her fiance, Marco Antonio Garcia, took the infant to Mercy Medical Center. The child was dead when she arrived at the hospital, with no obvious signs of injuries, according to an affidavit cited by the newspaper.

Garcia-Rivera is accused of recklessly causing the infant's death, court records show.

The babysitter told police she was frustrated with the infant and was trying to get her to sleep by turning her on her stomach and placing pillows and a blanket on the child's back but did not intend to hurt her, the newspaper reported.

As of Thursday afternoon, Garcia-Rivera was being held in lieu of $50,000 at the Benton County jail, records show. Her next court appearance is set for Jan. 29.