Warsaw babysitter charged in child's death
Created by kblakeslee on 10/29/2012 3:20:23 PM


Warsaw Police have arrested a babysitter after the recent death of an 18 month old boy. On August 6th, Warsaw Police got a call to a Warsaw home where they found an unresponsive 18 month old child- Peyton Brettell. He was being cared for by one of the homeowners there. Brettell was taken to the Hospital and efforts to revive him were not successful.


The South Union Street home is owned by Dana and Ballard Shell. Dana Shell, age 43, was engaged in a child care business at her home. She was unlicensed by the State of Indiana at the time of this event. At the time of the call to 911, there were 11 other children in the home, 2 of which were direct relatives of Dana Shell. Dana Shell and her husband, Ballard, were at the home that day, and two other adult relatives had been away from the home and returned shortly before the 911 call. One of those relatives found the unresponsive child in a bedroom of the home. 

Initial information supplied by Dana Shell was not consistent with the child’s injuries. An autopsy was performed at the Northeast Forensic Center in Fort Wayne on August 7th. Final autopsy results several weeks later ruled the child’s death accidental, from “positional asphyxia,” caused by the partial strapping of the child in a car seat, used in the home. In a third interview with police, Ms. Shell acknowledged knowing there was a concern with the child in the seat, but did not take immediate appropriate action to care for the child or report it immediately to police or EMS. It also appeared that the child was improperly strapped into the seat, which may have contributed to his death. 


Because of her neglect of personal and medical attention to the child, charges of NEGLECT OF A DEPENDENT, a class A felony, have been filed against Dana Shell. There was no evidence to support that other adults in the home were aware of any potential problem with the child, until found by a relative after he returned to the home. 

Warsaw Detectives, Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s office, Division of Family Services child protection caseworkers and the Coroner’s office all were involved in this investigation. Dana Shell was taken to the Kosciusko County jail on Monday, October 29th, and booked for the felony Neglect charge, a class A felony. 
She is being held on $50,000 Bond. sa