A nanny accused of force-feeding a crying baby until the girl choked to death was an unlicensed caregiver who was also watching two other young children at the time, according to the top prosecutor in Prince George’s County.
Oluremi Oyindasola, 66, of Glenarden, Md., made her first appearance in court Thursday afternoon since she was arrested on murder and child abuse charges in the death of 8-month-old Enita Salubi.
Oyindasola appeared before a judge in Prince George’s County District Court for a bond review hearing, but a judge postponed the matter until Friday afternoon when an interpreter for the native of Nigeria would be available for the proceedings. She is currently being held on a $1 million bond.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks (D) offered additional details about the case after the hearing, saying “Baby Enita died a senseless death.”
“This is an 8-month-old baby who we believe was killed simply because she cried,” Alsobrooks said.
Prince George’s County police said the live-in nanny was napping on a couch on Oct. 24 when the crying child, in a toddler walker, approached her.
Oyindasola then proceeded to remove the nipple from a baby bottle and pour the liquid, which prosecutors said they believe was milk, inside the squirming girl’s mouth, according to police charging papers.
Despite signs that the child could not breath and was in medical distress, Oyindasola forced the child to consume the contents of a second bottle, police said. The second bottle was a clear liquid that was probably water, prosecutors said.
The entire incident was recorded on in-home surveillance video, police stated in charging documents.
The child eventually became unresponsive and was later rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A medical examiner, who discovered white liquid in the child’s lungs during an autopsy, determined the baby died of asphyxiation and that her death was a homicide, police said.
Oyindasola was the only person watching the baby when the child suffered her fatal injuries, police said.
Prosecutors said Thursday that Oyindasola was also watching the child’s two siblings, who are 2 and 3. A 16-year-old was also in the home at the time.
Family for Oyindasola who appeared in court Thursday declined to speak with reporters.
The death of Enita is one about a dozen homicides involving children 3 and under in Prince George’s County and part of a recent string of child abuse cases in the region.
Last week, authorities arrested the parents of an infant whose father punched the child until he was unresponsive before leaving him in a car for more than 24 hours, police said. The child’s parents then buried the 2-month-old in a shallow grave behind a Riverdale high school to hide the crime, police said.
Also last week, a day-care center employee in Upper Marlboro was charged with assault and child abuse after she slammed a 3-year-old boy’s head on a table, police said.
The child deaths have promoted county officials to launch a public service campaign, urging parents to check the background of their caregivers and seek help for subsidized child care when possible.
“Children are the most precious thing we have,” Alsobrooks said. “We have to make sure that we leave them with people who are fit to care for them.”