The woman who found a seven-month-old baby dead in a hot minivan last June in Perry testified this morning at the trial of the baby’s mother. Joyce Ware is associate director of the Perry Day Care Center where the minivan was parked all day. She was the first to discover baby Clare, and said she was obviously dead with no pulse. Ware says she prayed and stroked the girl’s hair until a police officer arrived.Clare’s mother, Kari Engholm, is charged with neglect and manslaughter for leaving her child in the family minivan all day, and if convicted could spend up to 12 years in jail. Sherre Edmondson was Clare’s babysitter, and called that day to ask where the baby was. Edmondson talked about baby Clare, saying she did stomach crunches and was very strong. She says Clare was a good baby that got along well with other kids who called her “Clare bear.”Edmondson was asked about Kari Engholm’s parenting skills. She said she never saw Kari express any anger or lose control, and said she was a caring wonderful mother.Perry police detective Eric Vaughan told the judge Kari Engholm moved baby Clare to a bedroom downstairs because the baby’s crying kept her awake at night. Engholm’s defense attorney pounced on that during cross-examination and asked if the officer felt it was wrong to move the baby to a downstairs bedroom. He said, “No.”Engholm is on leave from her job as C-E-O of the Perry hospital. Her trial is underway in Adel, before a judge, not a jury.
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