Parents Charged After Daughter's Fatal Asthma Attack

Rachel and Anthony Modrow are accused of stalling on seeking treatment for 9-year-old Amy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2024 3:50 PM CDT
Parents Charged After Daughter's Fatal Asthma Attack
Rachel Modrow, left, and Anthony Modrow.   (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via KARE 11)

The parents of a Minnesota girl who died after an asthma attack earlier this year have been charged with second-degree manslaughter, accused of not taking her to the hospital as she suffered the attack. KARE 11 and the Star Tribune report that Anthony and Rachel Modrow, both 34, were booked Wednesday into the Hennepin County Jail regarding their 9-year-old daughter Amy, whose story started on the evening of Feb. 9.

  • Asthma attack: Per a criminal complaint, Amy was sleeping over a friend's house that night when she started struggling with her breathing. The friend's mother told investigators that Amy seemed to have trouble using her asthma inhaler, so she called the Modrows around 7am to let them know. Amy's parents don't have a car, so the friend's mother drove Amy home and told them she could take Amy to the doctor, but they declined that offer. "The woman said the victim was wheezing, breathing heavily, could barely walk, and asked to be taken to a doctor," per KARE.

  • Finally, help: A family friend was then called to the house around 10am, and he says when he got there, "Amy's skin was blue, she couldn't raise her arms, and she was crying," the Star Tribune notes. While Rachel Modrow wanted to run a steam bath to help her daughter, the friend insisted on calling an ambulance; he's said to have called 911 around 10:40am.
  • Amy's death: Amy stayed in the ICU until a week later, when she was declared brain dead due to lack of oxygen. Anthony Modrow told police during questioning that Amy had told them about a month earlier that her inhaler was empty and that they'd never gotten it refilled.
  • Fundraiser: Meanwhile, during her hospital stay, Amy's parents apparently launched a GoFundMe that raised close to $10,000 before being removed, per CBS News. GoFundMe says it's investigating.
  • Neighbors: Dean Severn tells CBS that he saw Anthony Modrow filming everything as the ambulance arrived, and the news outlet notes that a video on a YouTube channel linked to Modrow later featured a clip of the chaotic scene. "I know everybody reacts or grieves differently, but her father was videotaping the whole scenario," he says. "I'd be freaking out." Another neighbor, Aaron Titiner, says he was skeptical about the fundraiser right from the start, and that it appeared Amy was neglected. "I've never seen two people seemingly care less for their child," he tells the Star Tribune.
  • What's next: Conditional bail for the Modrows has been set at $25,000. If they post it, they'll be placed on house arrest. It's not clear when their next court date is.
(More manslaughter stories.)

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