Cincinnati babysitter claims ibuprofen, fall led to 1-year-old's death

CINCINNATI - New details emerged at an arraignment hearing Monday morning for the babysitter charged in connection with the death of a 1-year-old boy.

Marquita Burch, 27, faced a judge at the Hamilton County Justice Center after police found the body of the boy she was babysitting, 1-year-old William Cunningham, in a Winton Road apartment Saturday morning. Burch originally told Covington police on Friday that the baby was missing. She later changed her story, directing police to the Cincinnati apartment, where they found the boy's body in a hallway closet.

Burch was charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence after the discovery of the body.

Derek Gustafson, Burch's attorney, said the boy suffered an accidental injury after falling down steps. Burch gave the boy ibuprofen and put him to bed, and the following morning Cunningham was found dead according to Gustafson.

Family members told NewsChannel5's sister station WCPO Burch was friends with the little boy's mother and would babysit him on a regular basis.

Police said Burch told them the child was missing from a Covington park on Friday night. After an intense search involving local law enforcement agencies, detectives said Burch recanted her story and told them the little boy died at her apartment on Sheehan Avenue in Hartwell.

Officers then found the boy's body inside the closet on Winton Road after Burch told police she had moved the body.

The judge ordered Burch's bond to remain the same at $500,000.

Funeral arrangements are being made at the Gwen Mooney Funeral Home in Spring Grove Village. Cunningham's family is also in the process of setting up a memorial fund.

Officials have not released any additional details at this time.

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