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Woman charged in death of her disabled daughter

Elise Christine Nelson, 35, is charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second degree manslaughter.
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PAYNESVILLE, Minn. — A Paynesville woman has been charged in the death of her disabled daughter.

Elise Christine Nelson has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second degree manslaughter.

The 35-year-old Nelson shared custody of of the child with her ex-husband and she was supposed to care for her from the evening of June 18 to the afternoon of June 21, the criminal complaint states.

The child was attached to a pulse oximeter machine to maintain her oxygen saturation levels at 90%, and an alarm would go off if the machine sensed her oxygen fell below that level, the complaint reads.

Prosecutors say the alarm went off periodically starting June 18, and Nelson would turn it off and lower the oxygen saturation levels, prosecutors said.

Starting at around 12:32 a.m. Sunday authorities say the alarm went off multiple times and Nelson would turn it off and lower the oxygen level percentage, and from 6:33 a.m. to 6:41 a.m., the machine records indicate the levels lowered from 77% to 76%, then to 74%, the complaint reads.

At 6:43 a.m., the machine indicated there was no pulse on the child, and at 7:00 a.m. the levels were raised manually back to 90%, but at 7:24 a.m. the machine was turned off and it was not turned back on until it was in law enforcement custody, police said.

A family friend was supposed to drop off Nelson's other child but police say Nelson did not answer the door and missed multiple phone calls from her friend. At noon, Nelson spoke with the friend and said she had been doing CPR on the child for an hour. At around 1 p.m., Nelson called 911, the complaint reads.

Officers said when they arrived, the child was cold to the touch and blood was pooling on her back and backside of legs, which does not occur immediately upon death. Moreover, police said that Nelson did not appear like she had been exerting herself for 60 minutes performing CPR, prosecutors said.

Medtronic checked the machine and said it all functioned properly, police said.

The Midwestern Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy and concluded the child's death was from a bilateral bronchopneumonia due to injuries sustained during her birth, and opined that because the defendant deprived the child from necessary care that the manner of death was homicide.

The state is requesting a complaint warrant for Nelson's arrest, and wants her in custody due to the fact they believe she is a flight risk, records read.

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