(Gillette, Wyo.) Saturday, August 6th at 11:14 a.m., Gillette police officers and EMS responded to a residence on Haida Lane. A 3 year old boy had reportedly fallen and was having trouble breathing.
When officers arrived on scene, the 3 year old was unresponsive and struggling to breathe. Officers found trauma to the child's head and abdomen, and he was transported to the ER for treatment. His injuries were life threatening enough that he was flown to Denver Children's Hospital.
Officers on scene were suspicious of statements made by the boyfriend of the mother of the child, 20 year old Joseph Nielsen. Nielsen and his girlfriend's 2 year old daughter were the only ones at home when the 3 year old sustained his injuries. The 2 year old was placed in to protective custody.
Hospital staff voiced their suspicions that the 3 year old's injuries were not consistent with how they were reported to have occurred. Detectives began investigating, searching the children's home. They interviewed Nielsen, then traveled to Denver to meet with the boy's 20 year old mother and hospital staff there.
Doctors at Children's Hospital confirmed that the child's injuries were not consistent with how it was reported, but were consistent with child abuse. The child succumbed to his injuries Wednesday afternoon. When asked about the nature of the child's injuries, Lt. Chuck Deaton said he believes the injury the child eventually died from was "a traumatic brain injury."
Wednesday Nielsen was taken in to custody on suspected first degree murder charges. He will appear in Circuit Court this afternoon. He was already on adult probation at the time of his arrest.