Complaint: Fond du Lac baby had skull fractures, large areas of hemorrhage

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A woman has been charged in the 2018 death of her two-month-old child in Fond du Lac.

Photo: Fond du Lac County Jail

Charges of First Degree Reckless Homicide and Physical Abuse of a Child - Intentionally Cause Harm have been filed against Shauntina R. Fuller-Pankey, 26.

On June 25, 2018, Fond du Lac Police responded to an ambulance call for a two-month-old child at a residence on E. Merrill Ave. During this time, the child stopped breathing and she was rushed to the hospital where she died. The child had a "massive" skull fracture.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News, the girl's father told officials that he came home to find the girl making some "gurgling noises." He thought she was hungry. He picked her up to feed her and noted "something wasn't right." He said her body was limp and her head "was swung backwards." She was not responsive to attempts to feed her. He called 911.

The father told investigators that Shauntina has postpartum depression and she is "jealous of the children because he [the father] spends more attention and time with them than he does Shauntina."

The father stated family members had witnessed Shauntina being verbally abusive toward her children.

A few days before the child's death, relatives said they witnessed Shauntina become angry with the child's crying.

A relative stated "it appeared that Shauntina was more interested in smoking marijuana." The father stated "that when Shauntina doesn't have marijuana she's 'cranky as hell,'" according to the complaint.

An emergency room doctor told investigators "he has never seen fracture like this in 25 years." The doctor said was was not accidental in nature. He told the detective "he has only seen one other fracture like this and that it was a kid being driven into a concrete barrier."

The doctor said he had never seen a parent react like Shauntina did when informed that her child had died. He said "her behavior was strange and that there were times she was even smiling while she was at the hospital."

Shauntina denied hurting the girl. She told investigators that she had been hearing things and "something in her head was telling her that someone was after them and that it was somebody who was evil and vindictive trying to hurt her family."

An autopsy found that the child had "numerous skull fractures" and "several large areas of hemorrhage" under her scalp. The cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma to the head.

The medical examiner believes the injuries were caused by "extreme hard blunt force on and/or with a hard object." The cause of death was ruled a homicide.

Doctors and child abuse experts agreed that the injuries were not accidental.

According to the complaint, phone records showed Shauntina had searched for "my infant died" and made several searches for autopsy reports and results and the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner.

Shauntina moved to Milwaukee. Fond du Lac investigators traveled there on Jan. 9, 2020, to interview Shauntina again. She initially denied harming her daughter, saying she didn't "do anything on purpose."

Later in the interview, she stated that she hit the child's head. She claimed it was a "bump on the door."

Shauntina was taken into custody and transported back to Fond du Lac.

During a Jan. 16 court hearing, Shauntina Fuller-Pankey was ordered held on a $500,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.