Fayette Co. woman charged in connection with daughter's death



UNIONTOWN, Pa. - The wife of a Fayette County man arrested in November in connection with the death of their 20-month-old daughter was arraigned Monday on a charge of failing to get prompt medical attention for the toddler.

Jessica Marie Burkholder, 28, has been charged with endangering the welfare of children in connection with the death of Caylee Burkholder on Nov. 15, according to state police at Uniontown.

Trooper Heather Clem-Johnston said the mother was charged for “failing to provide medical care.”

According to the criminal complaint, Caylee was crying like she was hurt and vomited four times in a 10-15 minute period before going to sleep.

Caylee's father, Domer Wade Burkholder Jr., 30, was charged with criminal homicide by state police shortly after Caylee died at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Caylee was treated the afternoon of Nov. 15 at Uniontown Hospital and later transferred to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for “severe internal injuries, most likely the result of physical abuse,” police said.

The child died a few hours after she arrived at the Lawrenceville hospital. Police said she was in the operating room.

“I said, ‘Jessica, you should have called me. I would have been there,’” Jessica Burkholder’s mother said Monday. “My heart is broken. Not broken, it’s cracked.”

Burkholder’s mother said he daughter feared her husband, and was afraid he’d kill her, and that’s why she didn’t report the abuse.

“Jessica really misses her kids. She would never hurt her kids, ever,” Burkholder’s mother said.

Jessica Burkholder was arraigned before District Judge Wendy Dennis and released on signature bond pending a preliminary hearing Jan. 15

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.