Daycare provider charged with murder of 11-month-old baby boy


A St. Louis Park woman has been charged in the death of an 11-month-old baby boy, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Sylwia Pawlak-Reynolds, 42, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder of the infant who was in her care.

According to the criminal complaint, at 10:55 a.m. July 12, police responded to a call in the 4900 block of 18th Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Upon arrival, officers heard a woman’s voice in the backyard. They opened the gate and saw a baby lying on a patio table. Pawlak-Reynolds was performing chest compressions on the boy who was unresponsive.

Police and paramedics worked to resuscitate him but he was declared dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center the next day, the complaint states.

At the scene, officers spoke to Pawlak-Reynolds who operated the in-home daycare. The baby and his six-year-old sister were among the children in her care. Pawlak-Reynolds claimed that the baby was crying loudly so she put him in a highchair in the kitchen and gave him some milk and pieces of a Rice Krispy bar. The report states that she went to the backyard briefly to check on the other children and when she returned found the baby limp, his eyes were partially closed and his tongue was sticking out. She grabbed her phone, took the baby to the backyard table, called 911 and then started chest compressions.

The baby’s parents confirmed he had not suffered any accidents in the days before July 12 and that he had slept and ate normally that morning, according to the complaint. It was the children’s third day at daycare. They stated that the baby had trouble separating at drop off that morning. They said Pawlak-Reynolds was overwhelmed and they considered moving the victim and his six-year-old sister to a different day care provider.

The victim’s sister said the baby was crawling around the home and backyard. He would cry throughout the morning whenever she stopped holding her baby brother, the complaint states.

The pediatric ophthalmologist who examined the baby at HCMC said there was damage to his eyes that was consistent with sever shaking.

A warrant has been issued for Pawlak-Reynolds’ arrest.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)