We have all heard horrifying babysitter stories where parents trusted the wrong the person with the safety of their children. For one set of parent, the worst nightmare came true when they walked into their child’s bedroom only to discover that the woman whom they had left their child with in their absence, had betrayed their trust in the worst way possible.
Meet Cheyanne Jarrell
Kailynn Jean Watson was her parents’ fourth child, welcomed into the Watson family on October 19, 2015. Parents, Tim and Rachel, soon realized that they needed extra help with their growing family and decided to hire a babysitter to look after the kids while they were away during the day.
In the beginning, like any other parents, Tim and Rachel were cautious about entrusting their children to a complete stranger. After several interviews and thorough background checks, the couple decided to choose a 24-year-old woman named Cheyanne Jarrell to babysit their children, including their youngest daughter Kailynn, while they were away.
Tim and Rachel seemed confident that their children were in safe hands – after all, they had checked all past records of their new babysitter and she seemed completely harmless. The parents were looking for someone who was experienced in handling young children and knew how to look after a 3-month-old infant like their little Kailynn. Cheyanne Jarrell had an infant daughter of her own which is why she seemed perfect for the job.
A Normal Day Turned Into a Nightmare
On February 26, 2016, Cheyanne Jarrell was doing her routine babysitting job while Tim and Rachel were away for work. Unaware of the danger that they had brought into their family, the parents left their 4-month-old at home with the babysitter. Cheyanne often brought her own infant daughter to work, since there was no one else at home that she could leave her with; this day was no different. Looking after two fussy children proved to be a stressful job for Cheyanne and the babysitter was soon running out of patience.
As a babysitter, Cheyanne should have understood young children’s sensitive temperament. But instead of showing patience, she decided to take out her anger on little Kailynn and her actions led to irreversible consequences.
When Tim and Rachel returned home that evening, they realized that something was horribly wrong with their 4-month-old, who lay in her cot unresponsive. They rushed Kailynn to the hospital where the doctors concluded that the baby’s spine had been badly damaged and had led to a blockage in her diaphragm. Three days later, Kailynn passed away due to the lack of oxygen in her brain. Her obituary can be found here.
A Shocking Death
The tragic loss of their daughter shook the Watson family and the parents wanted to get to the bottom of their beloved Kailynn’s death. But when they discovered what had happened the day they had left their daughter in the hands of the babysitter, they were horrified.
According to the parents, Cheyanne had violently shaken Kailynn which had caused the fracture in her spine and had ultimately led to her death. Cheyanne was taken into custody as a suspect in Kailynn’s death. The 24-year-old was charged with first-degree manslaughter by the victim’s family. She was tried in Snohomish County Superior Court for 3 weeks after pleading innocent.
In the trial’s closing arguments, the defense stated that there had been a lack of medical investigation to find other possible causes for the infant’s death. However, the bruises found on Kailynn’s head at the time of death led the prosecutors into believing that child mishandling played a role in the tragic death of the 4-month-old.
Cheyanne Jarrell was convicted with second-degree manslaughter charges and sentenced to prison for 27 months.
During the entire trial, Cheyanne Jarrell maintained her innocence in front of the jury, claiming that she had nothing to do with the 4-month-old’s death. On the contrary, she had found the baby unresponsive when she lay her down in the cot on the day of the incident.
The news of the infant’s death at the hands of a babysitter has shocked the nation, raising a concern among parents for their own children’s safety.