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Two Charged For Not Reporting Child's Death

July 12, 2012, 2:11 PM

Two Charged For Not Reporting Child's Death

Two people are charged in connection with the death of a two-year-old girl in Wagner.

21-year-old Taylor Cournoyer and 28-year-old Laurie Cournoyer are each charged with one count of abuse or cruelty to a minor as a felony and failure to notify law enforcement of death of child.

Someone called 911 on July 4 to report a child was not breathing at a home on the 3800 block of 299th street in Wagner.  That's when officials found the toddler. 

Just a day later, the Charles Mix County Sheriff's office said 11-year-old juvenile was in custody in connection with the death investigation.  So far, there's no word on what charges that child might face. 

The adults are being charged under a new law passed this year by the South Dakota Legislature.  It's modeled after "Caylee's Law," which was passed in Florida after the death of two -year-old Caylee Anthony.  The Florida girl wasn't reported missing for 31 days after she vanished in 2008 in Orlando. 

The South Dakota law makes the failure to notify law enforcement of the death of child a crime.  Any parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who knowingly fails to notify law enforcement within six hours of learning of the death of a minor child in his or her care can be charged with the Class 5 felony.

A court date is scheduled for July 17 at the Charles Mix County Courthouse for Taylor Cournoyer and Laurie Cournoyer.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Law enforcement corrected the age of the child in custody to 11 years old.

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