Aunt accused of suffocating toddler to death with baby wipe

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HASTINGS, Neb. — A 19-month-old is dead and her great-aunt has been arrested in her death after authorities say a baby wipe was found lodged in the toddler’s throat.

An arrest affidavit says the toddler, Aliyana, was dropped off at the home of her 33-year-old aunt Azudany Serrano-Contreras on March 12.

EMS responded to the home in Hastings to the report of a child who couldn’t breathe.

The child was transported to the Children’s Hospital in Colorado where she died, KOLN reported.

A baby wipe was found in her throat.

Investigators said Contreras’ story kept changing about what she was doing when she claimed Aliyana swallowed the wipe.

KOLN reported that testimony from Contreras’ own children said she would cover Aliyana’s mouth to stop her from crying.

Eventually investigators said over the course of a few months it became clear Aliyana didn’t suffocate herself.

“Officers from our agency continued to investigate the case look in to the death to see what was going on, and have referred that investigative packet to the Adams County Attorney’s Office,” said Sgt. Brian Hessler, with the Hastings Police Department

A warrant was issued for Contreras on July 29, and a few weeks later she was arrested in Laredo, Texas.

The father Andrew Peterson said he’s taking things one day at a time to help his grieving.

“I just had a sick feeling in the back of my mind all the time, but, um, hopefully justice will be served for my little girl,” Peterson said.

Contreras is being held on a $1 million bond.

She faces multiple charges, including intentionally committing child abuse resulting in death.