Cowiche woman accused of violently shaking 18-month-old

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- A toddler is in the hospital; a caretaker is in jail. Police say it's a case of a shaken baby.

A 29-year-old Cowiche woman called 911 to report a toddler had fallen. But paramedics found the baby going in and out of consciousness. It became clear to doctors and police the 18-month-old had been shaken violently.

Marisela Avila-Alaniz was babysitting her friend's toddler. The pair spent the day at the babysitter's home on Summitview Avenue in Cowiche. Deputies say that, at some point, the 29-year-old got frustrated with the child.

"I don't believe for a moment that this gal intended to harm this child," Yakima County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Mike Russell said. "I don't believe that for a moment. But, nonetheless, harm, great harm, came to this child because she became impatient and was rather rough with the child."

The toddler was flown to a Seattle hospital. Because of a brain hemorrhage, part of the child's skull was removed to ease the swelling. The toddler was also suffering seizures.

"It's disappointing," Russell said. "It's disappointing to see people get so upset that they take it out on the little ones that can't defend themselves and can't speak up for themselves."

Avila-Alaniz admitted to deputies she had shaken the child about a half-hour before calling 911. Court documents indicate she was frustrated before changing the child's diaper.

"We all understand that life can be very frustrating, especially when you have young children that you're trying to care for, but we need to remember that these children are so very delicate in so many ways, and I think sometimes people forget that," Russell said.

Avila-Alaniz is now facing felony charges while a baby tries to recover from severe injuries.

At last word, YSO told KIMA the child is in critical condition but is stable. Deputies advise to always seek a state-certified child care provider when looking for someone to look after your child.