CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago daycare worker who saw her murder conviction for killing a newborn overturned by a judge is suing Romeoville and Plainfield investigators for withholding evidence and fabricating scientific findings.
Jennifer Del Prete spent nearly a decade in prison after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2003 death of 14-month-old Isabella Zielinski. Authorities alleged Del Prete shook the 4-month-old at the Romeoville day care where she served as a caretaker.
Students at Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project uncovered a detective’s memo saying he was worried the pathologist who conducted the autopsy didn’t agree with the shaken baby syndrome theory.
As a result, she was released in 2014 and her conviction overturned in 2016. A judge ordered a new trial. The Will County state’s attorney’s office is appealing.