DCI called in to investigate Estherville girl's death
ESTHERVILLE — State law enforcement officials have been called in for what is expected to be a lengthy investigation into the unexpected death of Jasmine Rodriquez Sebastian of Estherville. The 11-month-old was initially taken to Avera Holy Family Hospital at 2:48 p.m., Monday, June 4, according to the Estherville Police Department.
She was subsequently transferred to Avera McKennon Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jasmine passed away on Wednesday, June 6.
The child was being cared for by an in-home babysitter at the time emergency help was needed. Special Agent in Charge Darrell Simmons of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation would not disclose whether or not the babysitter was related to the child.
"We not sharing any of those details," Simmons said.
He also said it was too early for authorities to accurately disclose whether trauma or neglect factored into the girl's death.
"There was an autopsy that was completed (June 7) at the State Medical Examiner's Office, which is in Ankeny," Simmons said. "They don't have any results yet — it will probably be four to six weeks before we get that report."
Any criminal charges wouldn't be likely until the results come back.
"Anytime a child dies without there being an accident or some sort of (known) health issue, we just do our due diligence, investigate it and make sure," he said.
Simmons also encouraged the public not to read too much into the Division of Criminal Investigation's presence in Estherville.
"If there was some kind of ill-will intent or criminal act that took place to cause this, then we'll have to go down that path," Simmons said. "That can take several more weeks of investigation — following up with doctors, doing interviews and putting everything together."
The Estherville Police Department, Emmet County Attorney's Office and Iowa Department of Human Services is working with the Iowa DCI as the investigation continues.