Shawano mom convicted of not reporting baby's death gets 4.5 years prison

SHAWANO, Wis. (WSAW) -- A Shawano County mother convicted of failing to report the death of her baby while also saying she'd bury the body to the hide the death will spend 4 1/2 years prison.

Catherine Barker, 23, agreed to the terms of a plea deal in June. In exchange for the no contest pleas, a charge of neglecting a child was dismissed.

Last September, Shawano Police received a tip call about a child who had died at a home on W. 5th Street.

Officers found the 2-month-old boy dead inside a bassinet at the home. Barker told investigators that the child had accidentally suffocated under a blanket.

Two people came forward to tell police that Barker had messaged them about the child's death and plans to bury the boy in the country. The witnesses showed those messages to police. One exchange happened on the day of the baby's death.

Barker said in the messages that she planned to bury the child on a back road "so nobody would know." She worried about calling police because she had active warrants and feared arrest.

Barker's phone turned up internet searches for "how to revive a dead child." Barker claimed she didn't make those searches.

Barker will also spend five years on extended supervision.