exposing the dark side of adoption
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Mother returns to face 1974 murder charge



A 66-year-old woman accused of killing her toddler son in Sparks 32 years ago was returned today to Washoe County.

A private security firm brought Catherine Bader-Wyman from Arizona to the Washoe County Jail, arriving at 5:15 p.m., sheriff's department spokesman Michelle Youngs said.

Bader was arrested June 1 in Phoenix after a tip from her daughter a year before led police to obtain a warrant accusing her of child abuse and beating to death 3-year-old James W. Bader. He died Aug. 10, 1974, at St. Mary's Hospital. The family lived at 1345 Zephyr Way in Sparks.

Bader told police then her son's injuries were from falling from a lawn chair. Medical examiners and police decided in 1974 the death was accidental.

A Washoe County pathologist this year saw photos of the boy covered with bruises and determined the death was a homicide. Officials said James' adoptive mother beat the boy until his intestines burst, resulting in an infection that killed him.

In March 2005, Bader-Wyman's daughter, Julie Dunn of Chico, Calif., told Sparks police her mother was frustrated by her brother's disabilities and severely abused him.

2006 Jun 22