Algoma mom sentenced to three years in prison for child’s bathtub drowning

Cheyanne Wierichs was arrested by Algoma Police Monday after an investigation into a child's...
Cheyanne Wierichs was arrested by Algoma Police Monday after an investigation into a child's death.(Kewaunee County Jail/Algoma Police)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 8:35 AM CDT
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KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - An Algoma woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for the drowning death of her daughter in a bathtub.

Cheyanne Wierichs, 24, was convicted of Neglecting a Child (Consequence is Death). She was found guilty after entering a “no contest plea.” Charges related to meth possession and drug paraphernalia were dismissed but read in.

On May 18, a judge ordered Wierichs to serve three years behind bars and ten years on extended supervision.

A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News reveals police were called to an apartment at 421 Fourth Street last February. Police located Wierichs on a couch with an infant who was not responding. The infant was later identified as Cheyanne’s child born June 5, 2020.

Wierichs appeared to be doing CPR on the child. An Algoma officer took over until a member of Algoma Rescue arrived. The rescue staffer took the child to an ambulance. The child was pronounced dead.

Wierichs stated that she left the child in a bathtub while she cleaned the kitchen. She reported hearing splashing and found the child face down in the tub.

Police say there appeared to be a few inches of water in the bathtub. The tub was filled with toys “that there was almost no opening on the surface of the water,” reads the complaint.

During a later interview with police, Wierichs changed her story and said that she watched YouTube videos while her children were in the bath. She stated she left the bathroom to connect her phone to a speaker. She said she listened to a song before hearing splashing.

Investigators estimated several minutes would have passed between the time she left the bathroom and returned.

Officers executed a search warrant at the apartment. They found a white powder later identified as methamphetamine, according to the complaint. They also found a glass pipe and a basket containing drug paraphernalia. The pipe also showed the presence of meth, according to the complaint.

An autopsy on the child was completed by the Sheboygan County Medical Examiner’s Office. They ruled the death as a probable drowning.

Investigators noted the state of Wierichs’ apartment. The refrigerator was not plugged in and had rotting food in it. There were stains on the carpet and walls and garbage on the floor.

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