October 8, 2010 in Idaho

Baby sitter faces murder charge after child dies

Chelsea Bannach

Amanda Skogen
(Full-size photo)


A photo raffle has been organized to help the family of Cohen Johnson. Find out how to participate and where to get more information on the event’s Facebook page.

A Post Falls woman faces murder charges after a boy she was baby-sitting died of a head injury today, police say.

Amanda Skogen, 25, was booked into Kootenai County Jail today on a charge of first-degree murder. Under Idaho state law, she could face life in prison or possibly the death penalty if convicted.

The boy, 3-year-old Cohen Johnson, was taken off life support and died at 1:21 p.m. at Sacred Heart Medical Center today as a result of the injuries he sustained Monday while in Skogen’s care, police said.

On Monday, officers responded to the 500 block of North Elm Road in Post Falls for a report of a child who was breathing but unresponsive. When they arrived, Skogen told them she was removing his urine-soaked clothes when he became “limp and unresponsive.”

The boy was transported to Kootenai Medical Center, where doctors initially thought he had ingested something that caused him to slip into his unresponsive state. Doctors notified police when a CT scan revealed he actually had a bleeding skull fracture.

“Medical personnel felt that the injury was suspicious in nature,” Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug said in a prepared statement.

The boy was transferred to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he immediately underwent emergency surgery for his injuries.

During the investigation, Skogen admitted to becoming “frustrated and angry” with the child after he wet himself, and she shoved the child to the ground, resulting in the traumatic head injury, police said.

Skogen and the family “had been acquaintances for quite some time,” Haug said. She had been caring for the boy since June.

Skogen has no history of violence, they said.

“There was no indication there was any previous abuse concerns,” he said. “Amanda has a clean record. Had they done any kind of background (check), nothing would have been found. So there was no indication that this was going to happen.”

Police say Skogen was arrested without incident and has been cooperative throughout the investigation.

The boy’s parents have declined to comment on the case.

There are 32 comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email