LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — Over four years after 3-month-old Nicholas Cooper was found dead in his family's Lorain County home, his babysitter, who was 13 at the time, has been charged for his death.
The babysitter, who is now 17, is being charged as a juvenile with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of reckless homicide by the Lorain County prosecutor.
Investigators say the 3-month-old boy died of blunt force trauma to the head and chest.
“I believe the child was assaulted in a manner that ultimately caused the child’s death,” said Buddy Sivert, an investigator for the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office who was a detective on the case.
When Jovan Cooper returned home from an overnight shift on March 26, 2017, she found her son in his crib, not breathing, with blood on his nose, investigators say.
"I held my son's corpse in my arm," Cooper said in a 2017 interview with News 5. "I worked on my son for 45 minutes. My son was already dead before I got home."
Cooper said she had hired a 13-year-old to babysit her son while she worked overnights.
Sivert says new evidence uncovered in the case led to charges against the child’s babysitter. He wouldn’t detail that new evidence but says it’s a case that’s stayed with him for years.
“It was important to get justice for the family, for Nicholas, the child, and hopefully to prevent this defendant from doing anything like this again,” Sivert said.
Now, four years later, a complaint has been filed alleging the babysitter assaulted Nicholas and recklessly caused his death.
“We want to make sure that everybody understands that justice is going to doled out with this administration regardless of how long ago the case occurred,” Lorain County Prosecutor J.D. Tomlinson said.