WISCASSET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Investigators say the caretaker of a 4-year old girl is the person responsible for the child’s murder.
43-year Shawna Gatto made her first court appearance this morning in connection with the death of Kendall Chick. When emergency medical responders arrived at the girl’s home in Wiscasset last Friday, they found her not breathing and without a pulse.
The little girl was the granddaughter of Gatto’s fiancée Stephen Hood. They lived on Cricket’s Lane in Wiscasset.
Gatto’s attorney says his client says she had nothing to do with the girl’s death.
“I think the arrest came as a surprise to her, because I don’t think she ever really thought of herself as a subject of the investigation. So she’s surprised, scared”, said attorney Philip Cohen.
Investigators say Gatto admitted she was the only person home alone with Chick that day. According to the police affidavit investigators found blood stains throughout the home including in the girl’s bed, in a bath tub where she had been and on a dent in the wall consistent with the size of the child’s head. Investigators say autopsy results are consistent with previous instances of child abuse. The older injuries discovered include multiple contusions and lacerations.
Attorney Philip Cohen met Gatto for the first time today after being assigned her case. He says she insists she did not harm the child.
“Now that we’re on board we’ll start having people investigate, we’ll start having experts and I’ll think you’ll see there’s a different side come out of this than what you’ve been told so far. My client denies she had any involvement in the child’s death”, Cohen said.
According to the affidavit Gatto’s account of what happened is contradicted by the physical evidence gathered at the scene and the medical findings by the state medical examiner. Gatto is being held without bail at the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.