Babysitter Was Serving Life for a Child's 2006 Death. Then, a New Finding

New evidence suggests Amara Ou died from undiagnosed juvenile diabetes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2016 12:29 PM CDT
Babysitter Was Serving Life for a Child's 2006 Death. Then, a New Finding
Stock image.   (Getty Images / Jean Vaillancourt)

In October 2006, Amara Ou's father dropped the 2-year-old off at her babysitter's Florida home. A few hours later, after the girl wouldn't wake up from a nap, babysitter Syna Lim, now 48, tried for two hours to reach Amara's parents before getting hold of the father. When Amara finally arrived at the hospital, she was brain dead. Three years later, a jury found Lim guilty of the girl's murder, convicting her of beating the toddler with the handle of a flyswatter and hitting her on the head. She was sentenced to life in prison. But last week, the conviction was overturned and a new trial ordered, the Florida Times-Union reports. New evidence has found that Amara may not have been beaten to death after all, but may have died due to undiagnosed juvenile diabetes and another condition that causes uncontrolled internal bleeding.

A pathologist and a pediatrician re-examined the case years later and testified that Amara had very high blood sugar levels at the time of her death, which caused the internal bleeding. That bleeding, in turn, would have led to the bruises found on Amara that could be mistaken as coming from a beating. The doctors told the court that not enough medical testing was done on Amara at the hospital, News 4 Jax reports. The case brings up questions about the medical examiner who performed Amara's autopsy, the Times-Union notes: She resigned in 2010, and allegations have swirled that she was experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer's before she resigned. (Shaken baby syndrome is dividing the medical world.)

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