Shawano woman who hid child's death sentenced to prison

SHAWANO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Shawano woman who hid the death of her child has been sentenced to more than four years in state prison.

Catherine Barker, 23, was found guilty of Failure to Report Death of Child and Attempt to Hide the Corpse of a Child. As part of a plea agreement, a charge of Child Neglect Causing Death was dismissed.

Last September, Shawano Police received a tip call about a child who had died at a home on W. 5th Street. Officers found a two-month-old child dead inside a bassinet at the home.

Barker, the child's mother, told investigators that the child had accidentally suffocated under a blanket.

Two people came forward to tell police that Barker had messaged them about the child's death and plans to bury the boy in the country.

Barker said in the messages that she planned to bury the child on a back road "so nobody would know." She worried about calling police because she had active warrants and feared arrest.

Barker's phone turned up internet searches for "how to revive a dead child." Barker claimed she didn't make those searches.

On Sept. 10, a Shawano County judge sentenced Barker to four years and six months in state prison. She'll have to serve five years on extended supervision after her release.

She received 342 days credit for time served leading up to her sentencing.