Hopkins parents charged in daughter's asthma attack death

A Hopkins man and a woman are facing criminal charges for the death of their 9-year-old daughter after doctors say she could have survived if her parents had intervened earlier.

Anthony Wayne Modrow and Rachel Lynn Modrow, both 34, are charged with second-degree manslaughter. 

A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County states that Hopkins police responded to a report of a 9-year-old girl having an asthma attack at a home in Hopkins on Feb. 10.  When medics arrived, they were unable to find a pulse and immediately took her to Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the complaint.

Police say they learned that the girl was having a sleepover with a friend the night before. Officers spoke with the mother of that friend, who reported that the girl started having an asthma attack during the early morning hours of Feb. 10. The friend’s mother also told police the girl was breathing "heavy or fast" and the inhaler the girl was using was prescribed to her grandma, which didn't appear to be helping.

The friend’s mother then called the girl’s dad, Anthony Modrow, to tell him that his daughter was having an asthma attack.

The complaint states Anthony "proceeded to sigh" before he handed the phone to the girl's mother, Rachel Modrow, who told the friend’s mother to bring the girl home to get her inhaler. The friend’s mother then arrived and offered to take the girl to a doctor, but the offer was refused. She also noted that the girl could barely walk, but her father made no effort to help her.

Another witness, described in the criminal complaint as a family friend, told police that he came to the girl’s home the morning of Feb. 10, after getting a call from a family member who said the girl needed help.

When he arrived, the girl’s skin was blue, she could not raise her arms, and was crying. The complaint states that Rachel then ran a steam bath for the girl before the family friend carried the girl to the parking lot, where he called 911. 

The girl was then placed in the ICU until Feb. 17. At that point, doctors pronounced the girl brain-dead because of a loss of oxygen to her brain related to an asthma attack.

Police say they then searched the girl’s phone and found she texted her grandma the morning of Feb. 10 asking for her medication.

The complaint cites records that show the first 911 call came just before 10:40 a.m. and the girl didn’t get to the hospital until just before 11 a.m., despite her parents knowing about the asthma attack at 7 a.m.

Police then interviewed the parents, when Anthony reportedly said that the asthma issues started on Feb. 8, but that they did not refill the girl’s rescue inhaler despite it being empty for a month.

Rachel told police she tried to stabilize her with home remedies because she didn’t want to call an ambulance, and they could drive her to the hospital, according to the complaint.

Police say they spoke to multiple doctors, including a pediatric critical care doctor, who all said the girl "would have had a much better chance to survive with earlier medical intervention."

Rachel’s next court date is set for May 15, while Anthony is next due to appear in court on June 7.