Roseville Mother Arrested In Daughter’s Death Released

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Denise Marie McGrath Wilder, the Roseville mother accused in the death of her 2-year-old child, was released from police custody on Monday.

Wilder was arrested by detectives at her home on Wednesday after police found her 2-year-old child dead and Wilder, 37, intoxicated. Her 5-year-old daughter was also at home at the time.

Wilder appeared at a court hearing Monday but was released on her own recognizance after it was determined there was insufficient evidence to file charges for her daughter’s death. Her next court date was scheduled for May 8.

“If they had enough evidence to charge her, she’d be charged and she wouldn’t be walking out of the jail,” her attorney, Jess Bedore said. “This tells you there is no evidence of any kind of crime.”

Prosecutors admitted as much when saying in court they had yet to file a criminal complaint.

In a statement later in the day, the D.A.’s office indicated it was unclear if charges would be filed at all as investigators await autopsy results before making that decision.

District Attorney Scott Owens made the following statement in a press release: “Prior to making a final charging decision in this case, it is necessary to have the final report from the Placer County Coroner’s Office. That report will not be released until further forensic testing is complete.”

“When you come upon a body and somebody’s shot and somebody else is there, then you’ve got a pretty good case,” Bedore said. “Here there’s too many unknown questions obviously, so the case is going to take a while to work up.”

Still unknown is how little McKinley died. Five days after Denise Wilder’s arrest, police have yet to say why they fingered her for the death. They took bags and boxes of what appeared to be evidence from Wilder’s home the day after the toddler was found dead at her grandparent’s Roseville home. Police say Denise and the girl’s 5-year-old sister were the only other ones there and the 37-year-old mother was drunk.

“The police made a call that day,” Bedore said. “I don’t know if it was the right one or not.”

Wilder and her ex-husband are reportedly in a custody dispute and each side has accused the other of serious charges. Wilder’s other daughter is now living with the girl’s father.


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