DA: Multiple people could be charged in kindergartner's death

Published: Jul. 5, 2017 at 12:56 PM CDT
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Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono said it's likely multiple people will be charged in connection to the death of a Crandon kindergartner.

Simono tells NewsChannel 7 those charges will likely vary in severity from negligence to reckless homicide.

An autopsy report released Wednesday showed Forest/Oneida County Medical Examiner Larry Mathein determined Amber Perry's death was a homicide due to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Mathein stated Perry did not receive proper management for her condition. Perry was found dead by a relative at a Crandon apartment March 7.

According to the report, family was aware Perry had insulin dependent diabetes.

"The severity of the dehydration discovered at autopsy would indicate a long term, chronic, lack of proper management of this decedent's medical condition," Mathein wrote in the report.

"I do not believe "accident" is appropriate due to the obvious chronic presentation of the physical condition of Amber's body", it reads.

Simono said he working to get documents that reveal who knew about Perry's diabetes, who knew how to treat it and who had custody at the time of her death. Simono said he does not believe it was a financial issue, as medicine was on hand.

Doctor Larry Gordon, a pediatrician who treats almost 200 people with diabetes explains what signs Amber Perry's family should have seen as she had diabetic ketoacidosis.

"It messes with your respiration, it messes with your ability to get good blood flow to your body, as you get dehydrated your body automatically reacts," Gordon said. "Your body will just start slowly shutting down, your circulation, to try and conserve that flow and it's really going to take a toll on your body."

Another common part of diabetic ketoacidosis is a build-up of carbon dioxide. Doctors look for heavy breathing, since that's usually a sign of the body trying to get rid of carbon dioxide. This is also when patients can slip into a coma.

Crandon police responded to the report of an unresponsive child around 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7 to the Grant Apartments located at 400 Grant St. in Crandon. Initially, investigators called Perry's death “suspicious”.

Gordon also says it's important to remember that every diabetes patient is different, which means we can't know exactly what Amber experienced before she died.

The report did not blame any one person for Perry's death, but stated several persons were responsible for her day-to-day care.

So far, no arrests have been made and no criminal charges have been filed. Simono said he's hoping to file charges as soon as possible.

In a separate unrelated case, a Wausau couple was convicted of reckless homicide in separate trials after their daughter, 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann, died of untreated diabetes March 2008. Dale and Leilani Neumann's were each sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. Prosecutors said the Neumanns chose to pray for their daughter, instead of seeking medical treatment.