Baby's death being investigated 9 months later

Ella Nuthak lost consciousness at her babysitter’s home and was rushed to the hospital where she later died. (Provided by family)
State police investigating Shelbyville baby's death
Police investigating baby's death

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) — Nine months after a baby’s death in Shelbyville, state and local police are investigating how and why she died.

The coroner's report on Ella Nuthak was just released last month.

For family, time without answers about what happened to baby Ella has been almost as painful as losing her nine months ago.

"She's been gone longer than she was here," said Ella's grandma, Carrie Ridgeway. "Your heart's just broken."

Now, Indiana State Police have launched a joint death investigation with Shelbyville Police into how and why Ella died. It follows a Marion County coroner's report just recently released.

Police say it ruled Ella's death a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

"She didn't have any heart problems, any health issues that would just cause a normal seven-month-old to stop breathing. So something happened, we just don't know what," Ridgeway said.

The granddaughter of Shelbyville Councilman Brad Ridgeway, Ella suddenly lost consciousness while at a babysitter's house Aug. 9, 2018.

Her dad dropped her off at 8 a.m.

"By quarter 'til 12, he'd gotten the call that something had happened, that the paramedics were there and...she wasn't breathing," Ridgeway said.

Ella was flown to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Doctors told her family that her brain had been severely damaged. She died three days later, when family took her off of life support.

Ella's grandma says she did roll off a bed at home before going to the babysitter, but doctors at Riley told family that wouldn't have caused her death.

"They told us that type of injury would not have waited to present itself four hours later. So that's where we're at, we don't know." Ridgeway said.

Police are looking into what may have happened at the babysitter's home.

Was she hurt? How fast was 911 called?

There are also conflicting reports about who else may have been in the home.

The babysitter, who Eyewitness News tried to reach out to several times, told investigators that day that Ella collapsed on the floor without warning.

Whatever the cause, family wants to know. She's been gone nearly a year.

"We're just confident that all the agencies together will find answers," Ridgeway said.

Shelbyville's police chief said this investigation could take awhile. They plan to be thorough and want to get it right. Indiana State Police said they just joined the investigation a couple weeks ago.

Right now, no one is facing charges in connection with Ella's death and it's not yet clear if anything criminal took place.

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