27 Year Woman Charged With Child Neglect After Her Baby Is Found Dead And Covered In Roach Bites

Oklahoma
A 27-year-old mother has been charged with child neglect and had her twins taken into care after her three-month-old daughter was found dead.

The baby was found on the floor of the roach infested apartment with bites on her legs and head.

Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, appeared in Washington County District Court via video monitor from jail on Monday.

The charge of child neglect was pursued by authorities over homicide as the Medical Examiner's Office could not determine the cause of death.

Police were called to Bell's home on January 8 after she reported the death of the infant. 

Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was charged with child neglect after the death of her three-month-old daughter, whose body was found with roach bites on her legs and head

Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was charged with child neglect after the death of her three-month-old daughter, whose body was found with roach bites on her legs and head

While Bell slept on the couch, baby Alice somehow suffocated on the floor nearby. It is unclear how this happened and for how long she lay there

While Bell slept on the couch, baby Alice somehow suffocated on the floor nearby. It is unclear how this happened and for how long she lay there

Her initial story was that she had put the baby, Alice, in a crib and then found her dead later on.

She then changed her story and admitted to laying the baby on the floor. 

Bell said that the baby might have been smothered by her 18-month-old twins out of jealousy after she had fallen asleep while watching a movie with them.

She said she was afraid one of them had killed Alice by sitting on her, which was why she initially said the child was in the crib.

An autopsy listed the cause of death as sudden unexplained infant death with the manner of death undetermined.

The medical examiner found abrasions on Alice's legs and head caused by roaches that infested the apartment.

In an affidavit, investigator Jim Warring said: 'I can conclude that she laid the baby on the floor and fell asleep without waking during which time Alice may have been suffocated by one or both of her twins or became distressed due to the surface of the floor and suffocated.'

'Also enough time passed that roaches were able to start feeding on both the baby's legs and head,' he added.

'All of this took place less than 10 feet from the couch where Bell was reportedly sleeping.'

Bell's initial story was that she had put baby Alice in a crib and found her dead later on. She then changed her story, telling authorities that she was worried one of her twins had smothered the baby

Bell's initial story was that she had put baby Alice in a crib and found her dead later on. She then changed her story, telling authorities that she was worried one of her twins had smothered the baby

The charge of child neglect relates to a previous incident, on December 31, when a neighbor called police concerned that the children had been left alone and were crying.

Bell returned to the apartment approximately five minutes after officers arrived and claimed not to have been away for very long, and acted like it was not a big deal.

Neighbors told police that the children had been left alone on other occasions.

The twins were taken away from Bell after the death of Alice. Tulsa World reported that Bell has other children but they are not in her care.

The affidavit stated: 'Enough evidence and probable cause exists to determine that the defendant has acted in a reckless and neglectful manner that has been dangerous and possibly fatal to the children in her care and custody.'

Associate District Judge Russell Vaclaw set her bond at $10,000, and scheduled a May 8 hearing.

 
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By Shedrack Mittens 04/21/2015 06:52:00
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