Elise Nelson, 35, has been accused of tampering with her 13-year-old daughter’s medical equipment that she depended on for oxygen.
Kylie Christine Larson was special needs and prosecutors believe that Nelson had intentionally murdered her daughter.
Throughout her very short life, Kylie had a multitude of medical conditions. Those conditions included cerebral palsy, a developmental delay, and respiratory failure, according to Fox 9.
Kylie required 24-hour medical care at the time of her death, but for the last four days of her life, only her mother was at home. Her father was reportedly away on a fishing trip and her sister was staying with a friend.
Part of Kylie’s round-the-clock medical management involved a device known as a pulse oximeter, which attaches to a finger to monitor a patient’s pulse and blood oxygen saturation levels. Typically, an alarm on the device is set to go off when the levels dip below 90% and can be silenced for a minute at a time. But if those levels don’t rise back up or if the machine is reconfigured, it can sound again.
On June 21, the alarm went off.
Nelson called for an ambulance, and when paramedics arrived, she claimed her daughter had suddenly flatlined and that her oxygen levels were at 86%.
The 13-year-old was lying on the living room floor unresponsive by then and was already cold to the touch.
Nelson claimed her daughter’s decline was rapid and sudden but it wasn’t long before the evidence painted a different picture.
Officials sent the pulse oximeter to a company called Medtronic to ensure it had been working properly, during an investigation. Data from the device revealed someone had repeatedly silenced alarms warning that Kylie’s blood oxygen levels were dropping.
The alarm threshold was then set to a lower percentage multiple times which prevented it from sounding again. Kylie’s nurses told investigators there was no reason to ever drop the threshold below 90%, according to CBS Minnesota.
That very same morning, a family friend who had been watching Elise’s other daughter revealed investigators how she had attempted to get in touch so she could drop the girl off but was unsuccessful. In addition, there were also lingering questions regarding the timeline of events on June 21.
And when Nelson did eventually text the friend back, she said she had been giving Kylie CPR for over an hour while waiting for paramedics to arrive. But when authorities looked at the timestamps on the mother’s phone, that text was sent 20 minutes prior to Nelson even calling 911 for help.
Kylie was then rushed to the hospital but could not be saved.
That same day, she was pronounced dead — the medical examiner ruling the girl’s death a homicide — revealing how the mom deprived her of care, which resulted in her death.
As of now, Nelson remains behind bars.
The mother was arrested on September 24 and charged with two counts of second-degree murder in her daughter’s death. According to a press release from the Paynesville Police Department, her bail was set at $500,000 unconditional or $350,000 with conditions. It is not immediately known how she will plead.
CBS 4 News reported that if she is convicted — she faces up to 40 years in prison.
And when it comes to Kylie’s family, they are absolutely crushed by their sudden loss.
“She taught us to embrace the blessing of being in the world together,” her obituary read.
“Her smile was so beautiful it radiated love and joy to all. Kylie enjoyed being outside and moving around, whether it be spinning around in her chair, going for walks with friends and family, or traveling to new places …”
“Her fellow schoolmates looked forward to pushing her around in the halls and laughing with her. You saw her sweet soul and smile in her eyes. The simplest things in life would make her laugh. Kylie made all our lives better when she was around.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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