(The AEGIS Alliance) – A teen couple is facing charges following the death of their 4-month-old baby after investigators discovered cocaine in the infant baby’s body and food bottles, according to a statement by a South Carolina sheriff this past week.
Police arrested 18-year-old Brady Wearn and 17-year-old Mary Bedenbaugh on Wednesday and charged the couple with homicide as a result of child abuse and illegal conduct against a child. The charges come after an almost two-month investigation into the infant’s death that happened on May 2.
Police had been called to the suspects’ house in the town named Prosperity that day on a report of a baby becoming unresponsive and the child stopped breathing, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office stated. The name and gender of the baby have not been identified who was pronounced dead at a medical center on that exact same day.
Toxicology records later revealed that there were “measurable levels” of cocaine in the child’s body, authorities pointed out. Further testing was done that found quantities of cocaine in the victim’s food bottles, which suggested the suspects may have purposefully drugged their very own baby, a press release revealed.
A forensic pathologist found that the baby’s death was a criminal act of homicide “associated with recent cocaine ingestion.”
Wearn and Bedenbaugh were additionally tested for drugs and it was discovered they had cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana in their systems, police pointed out.
Newberry County Coroner Laure Kneece defined the investigation as “very difficult and emotional” as it included a dead baby. Sheriff Lee Foster acknowledged it, taking note that drug use and also abuse are “not victimless crimes.”
“These are very difficult and time-consuming cases that Investigators have to sort through, and we have to wait for testing on items, which takes a few weeks. This is exactly why we take drug enforcement so seriously,” Foster pointed out in a press release.
The youthful mom and dad were denied bail in a Thursday courtroom appearance, jail records indicate. The two are currently jailed at the Newberry County Detention Center.
If found guilty, each of them is facing twenty years to life in prison.
Jeffrey Childers – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.