Waukesha woman charged in death of two-year-old girl

Nicole Wagester looked numb as she wheeled into Waukesha County court Tuesday.  Prosecutors charged the 31-year-old with killing her boyfriend's two-year-old daughter.

\"Well, I tell you, it's disturbing,\" Waukesha Police Lt. Tom Wagner said. 

Monday, Wagester was babysitting the girl in her apartment building a few blocks west of downtown Waukesha on NW Barstow Street. 

\"This was their normal living situation where Nicole would care for this two-year-old victim,\" Wagner said.

Around 10 a.m. Monday, Wagester called 9-1-1 saying the child wasn't breathing.  Paramedics found the girl with multiple injuries.  They took her to Waukesha Memorial Hospital, but the two-year-old died soon after.

\"Ultimately as the investigation proceeded, we did develop Nicole as a suspect,\" Wagner said.

Detectives were suspicious of Wagester right away.  The woman's story changed frequently, first saying the little girl fell out of bed, but detectives didn't find any evidence the child hit anything.

According to the criminal complaint, Nicole \"remained emotionless and unmoved\" as officers told her the girl died and then changed her story to say she fell asleep on the child.  After police arrested Wagester, she explained what really happened.

Wagester says she \"lost her temper\" in the bathroom because of a potty training problem.  The  little girl fell off the toilet and Wagester says she kicked the girl in the stomach.  The two-year-old slid across the bathroom floor.  Wagester then laid down in bed with the girl, who she felt twitching, and fell asleep.

The autopsy report found the girl died from a \"severely lacerated liver\" which caused massive internal bleeding.

Neighbors are stunned by the child's death.

\"Some people deny the existence of the devil, but look around you, are you blind? Can you explain this? No,\" said Gearhardt Stefan.

\"Any time a kid is involved and you have a child death it affects everybody,\" Wagner said.  \"It affects the EMS, it affects the police officers, it affects the entire community.\"

Wagester is in custody on $100,000 cash bail.  She faces one count of first degree reckless homicide, which carries up to 60 years in prison, if convicted. 

Neighbors hope as the case moves forward-- Wagester faces the maximum penalty.

\"A person like that, for the protection of society, needs to be put away, for a good long time,\" said Stefan.

Wagester is due back in court October 17.

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