Man charged in child's death

Ryan Jorgenson (Winnebago Co. Jail)

TOWN OF MENASHA - We have new details regarding the death of a 3-year-old town of Menasha girl. Ryan Jorgenson, 26, is facing one count of reckless homicide. He is the girl's mother's fiance.

"Only two people really were there when this happened. One is the defendant, the other is the 3-year-old child who's now dead," said Winnebago County Deputy District Attorney Scott Ceman after court Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Jorgenson was alone with the girl and his own infant child on May 14. That morning, first responders were called to the house for the report of a toddler having a seizure.

"It started with an initial 3 to 4, depending on how you look at it, different versions of events that he provided us as to what led to her state, lying on the floor as paramedics found her," said Ceman.

In the criminal complaint, it says Jorgenson told first responders he thought the toddler fell down the stairs, but the document shows the girl suffered brain injuries consistent with being thrown, slammed down, or shaken.

She was taken off life support last Wednesday.

Police say, eventually, Jorgenson said he shoved the girl toward the stairs and she fell.

The complaint also says the defendant told a another jail inmate he "did a very bad thing" and "hurt that little girl."

Furthermore, the document says Jorgenson texted the toddler's mother before he was arrested, saying he pushed her.

The prosecutor told the court there may be a history of abuse as well.

"He essentially engaged in a pattern of physical and verbal abuse of this child that ultimately culminated in the violent act that culminated in her death," explained Ceman.

The criminal complaint lists at least three incidents where the 3-year-old had bruises after being in Jorgenson's care. In the document the child's father is quoted as saying he suspected Jorgenson was abusing his daughter. The father said he threatened to call child protective services.

Jorgenson's defense attorney did not respond to our request for comment.

The prosecutor told us the investigation is ongoing.

"A lot of interviews are still being conducted. There's still a lot of forensic testing, medical evidence coming in," said Ceman.

Jorgenson's bond was set at $250,000. He is scheduled to be back in court in two weeks.