Wisconsin teen with a disability suffered ‘slow death’ by mother’s neglect, authorities say

Nicole Gussert was charged with child neglect in the death of her disabled 13-year-old daughter.

(Outagamie County Jail)

A disabled Wisconsin teenager suffered a “slow death” due to her mother’s neglect, authorities claimed.

Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said in court Monday that Brianna Gussert, 13, who was unable to walk, talk or care for himself, suffered a “slow death.”

“This poor child struggled and suffered greatly because her mother is not on her,” Tempelis said.

On May 29, 2017, a police officer discovered Gussert of the body during a welfare check and said her room smelled like “rotten food, human waste and death,” according to a criminal complaint. The county coroner estimated that Brianna died on May 24.

An autopsy indicated her cause of death was sepsis, a blood infection. The indictment said the skin under Brianna’s diaper had already started to decompose when her body was found.


The indictment said the girl’s mother, Nicole Gussert, 37, left the disabled teenager only for the days during the Memorial Day weekend last year. Tempelis said Gussert was not sure when she last fed her daughter, changed her diaper or fed her.

The Post-Crescent reported the teenager’s feeding tube was nearly empty when the police discovered her body, while the six subjects of the formula are found outside the house. The girl had not been to school in months.

Brianna Gussert was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, which causes delayed growth and development, intellectual disability and epilepsy, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. The condition left her needing constant care,” said her father, Greg Gussert. He said that his daughter lived with her mother, because she had more space, but he was planning to buy a home that can meet her needs.


“This is a tragedy,” he told the Post-Crescent. “It is a child that was taken away from her father, her sisters, her grandparents, teachers and friends. She was too fast. She was an inspiration and a beautiful child. And happy, she was happy the whole time.”

Nicole Gussert was charged with child neglect and also face three counts of possession with intent to deliver amphetamine.

She is being held on $ 300,000 cash bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for 19 June. If convicted of child neglect, she could be sentenced to 25 years in prison. The drug of the charges each carry a maximum sentence of 12 ½ years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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