Crime, Law and Justice

Hopkins parents charged with manslaughter after 9-year-old’s fatal asthma attack

Two parents from Hopkins have been charged with second-degree manslaughter after their 9-year-old daughter died from an asthma attack earlier this year.

Anthony and Rachel Modrow, both 34, were charged this week and made their first appearance in Hennepin County District Court.

According to the criminal complaint, their daughter came home from a sleepover struggling to breathe on the morning of Feb. 10. A friend’s mom, who brought her home that morning, allegedly offered to drive the victim to the hospital; the parents declined.

The Modrows allegedly told authorities that they tried home remedies, like running a steam bath, which did not help.

The girl’s aunt eventually called a family friend to come over and help. That friend told authorities that the girl’s skin was blue, and she couldn’t raise her arms.

The friend eventually called 911, about three hours after the parents learned the girl was suffering from an asthma attack. The girl died in the hospital a week later.

According to the complaint, the Modrows had neglected to intervene earlier in their daughter’s illness. Anthony Modrow allegedly told officers that his daughter told him her rescue inhaler was empty a month earlier, and the parents had not gotten it refilled. She reportedly started showing symptoms of illness two days before the severe asthma attack.

At the time of the attack, the girl reportedly tried using an inhaler prescribed to her grandmother.

The complaint alleges that doctors told investigators that the girl would have had a better chance for survival if she had received treatment sooner.

Tanya Bishop, a public defender for Anthony Modrow, told the court that “the line between the accident and charges is very fine,” according to a Star Tribune report from this week’s hearing.

A judge set the Modrows’ bail at $25,000 each. They remained in the Hennepin County Jail on Friday morning.

Rachel Modrow’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 15. Anthony Modrow is due back in court on June 7.

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