AUBURN (CBS13) – A Roseville women pled not guilty Tuesday to child abuse and neglect charges related to the death of her 2-year-old daughter in April.

Police say Denise Wilder was at her parents’ Roseville house with her two daughters on April 4 when 2-year-old McKinley was found dead. Wilder was intoxicated when officers arrived.

denise wilder1 Roseville Mother Pleads Not Guilty In Death Of 2 Year Old

Denise Wilder

The coroner says her McKinley died of acute alcohol poisoning and malnutrition. Wilder was re-arrested after toxicology results came back last week.

Inside the Placer County courtroom, Wilder did not show much emotion as she was denied bail Tuesday.

Holding a Minny Mouse doll, the toy of a young girl, Mark Wilder, McKinley’s father, walked out of his ex-wife’s arraignment without commenting.

“Miss Wilder has pled not guilty, and we are certainly gratified she was not charged with murder,” her attorney, Jess Bedore, said.

Denise Wilder was charged with two counts of child abuse in connection with her daughter’s death.

“I don’t know if anybody thinks she willfully and intentionally did anything to that child,” Bedore said.

After not hearing from their daughter for days while they were out of town, Denise’s parents called the police to check on their Diamond Oaks home. Police responded and found McKinley dead. Wilder’s other daughter, 5, was turned over to her father.

“She’s doing OK under the circumstances,” Bedore said of his client. “There’s nobody who feels more sorry about her daughter’s death than her, I’ll tell you that right now.”

It’s been a devastating two months for Denise Wilder’s mother. She’s lost a grandchild, her daughter is behind bars, and during the investigation, police arrested her husband Daniel McGrath for child pornography.

The arrest affidavit states that one of his victims was his daughter Denise.

“I have absolutely no comment but thank you for inquiring about the welfare of my family,” Denise’s mother said as she left the courtroom, her face hidden behind a scarf.

The next court appearance for Denise Wilder will be a bail hearing on July 5.


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