Couple charged with child abuse, neglect in death of three-year-old girl

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) — A man and his girlfriend are facing charges of party to the crimes of child abuse and child neglect in the death of the man’s three-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors filed the charges against Dylan Bartsh, 30, of Altura, MN and Jaymie Rundle, 24, of Holmen on Monday. In late October, crews responded to a home in Holmen for a three-year-old girl having a seizure. A criminal complaint says hospital staff noticed the girl was malnourished and that she had scars and bruises all over her body. The girl died three days later. An autopsy listed her cause of death as homicide, and the doctor who did it said a high concentration of sodium in her system contributed to her death.

During an interview, Bartsh told a sergeant with the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department that “you could call us negligent,” and that not noticing how skinny his daughter was wasn’t their fault. He blamed the high sodium content on PediaSure they gave the girl during the previous summer and Ensure. Rundle told an investigator they noticed the girl’s weight loss in September.

Last month, Bartsh’s mother told an investigator that she was concerned about how the couple was disciplining her granddaughter. She said the girl had to sit in the hallway so long that she would fall asleep, and during one visit, the girl was in a “time out” for nearly 10 hours. Bartsh’s mother also said her son would yell at her, so she didn’t step in.

Bartsh is in the Winona County Jail, and will be extradited beck to Wisconsin. Rundle is in the La Crosse County Jail, but jail staff did not know when her next court appearance would be.