Betsey Kee Stephens was declared dead at the hospital. Ruby Stephens was arrested over the death of her 22-day-old baby (Picture: Reuters/Lakeland Police Department)
‘She suffered tremendously over the 22 days that she was alive,’ Mike Link, assistant chief of Lakeland Police, told a news conference.
He called photographs of the baby ‘absolutely horrible.’
A medical examiner later determined the death was a homicide resulting from ‘starvation due to neglect,’ according to an arrest report.
An autopsy found the infant weighed 4lbs 1oz at death, having lost about 2 and a half lbs since her birth. Normal weight for her age was about 8lbs, the medical examiner’s office noted.
The baby was dehydrated and appeared not to have been fed for six to seven hours prior to her death, according to the report. Roy: Stephens was also arrested (Picture: Reuters)
The mother initially told police that she had been breast-feeding the baby every few hours.
But after police told her about the autopsy’s findings, she acknowledged that the baby likely had not been fed for much of their day-long road trip, with highway traffic making it difficult to exit to feed her.
The mother later told police that the infant had shown signs of health issues, but she had missed an appointment to have her weight checked before the Florida trip.
Roy Stephens was not the biological father, the mother told authorities, and had not paid much attention to her from days before the night the parents starved the innocent baby to death while having dinner buffet
Via (Metro UK)