Mother Charged With Murder

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After a nearly two month long investigation, Loves Park Police have arrested 53-year-old Sandra Scudder and charged her with murdering her two-year-old daughter Esther, who died June 14 from head injuries.

Most of Sandra Scudder's neighbors in Loves Park didn't know her personally. They say she and her two adopted daughters stayed pretty much to themselves in their home behind me.

But all that changed Monday when she was charged with first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, accused of killing her two-year-old daughter.

It was June 13 when neighbors say they saw two-year-old Esther Scudder taken away by ambulance to the hospital where she died the next day. Little did they know that two months later, the woman who was seemingly trying to save her daughter would be accused of killing her.

Police have been unusually tightlipped throughout the investigation, but they have said that the girl had suspicious bruises on her body when she died and an autopsy later showed the exact cause of death to be blunt trauma to the head. Meanwhile, as the state's attorney's office builds a case against Scudder, neighbors continue to question how a seemingly quiet woman could be accused of such a horrific crime.

Scudder's other adopted daughter, who's five, was home when her sister was taken to the hospital. She has since been removed from the home and put in protective custody.

Meanwhile, Sandra Scudder is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

If convicted, what type of punishment does Sandra face?

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Sandra could face 20 to 60 years in prison.

She could also face an additional 3 to 14 years if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.