An Oklahoma woman has been charged with neglect after her baby was left to die on her cockroach infested floor. Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell says that she believes one of her other children (18-month-old twins) may have killed the infant out of jealousy, but an autopsy has concluded that the cause of death is SIDS. Baby Alice was only three-months-old when she died, reports The Daily Mail.
The 27-year-old mother reportedly took a nap on her couch on the day of the incident, admitting that she laid the baby on the floor instead of putting her in a crib or other appropriate place. She had lied at first, claiming that she’d put the baby in the crib but woke up to her on the floor. She told police that one or both of her 18-month-old twin children may have smothered her to death out of jealousy, but it’s not known if she said this before or after admitting to laying baby Alice on the floor herself.
The medical examiner that did the autopsy believes that the child may have succumbed to SIDS due to being left on the floor unprotected and exposed. Furthermore, the medical examiner determined that the infant had been left on the floor long enough for cockroaches — which infested the apartment — to begin feeding on her. The infant’s body was covered in bites from the horrible little insects, indicating that she had been there for an extended period of time.
Tulsa World reports that the other remaining children in the home have been removed from Bell’s care. She is scheduled to appear before a judge on May 8th regarding the neglect charges she has been given. She is currently being held on $10k bond. Reports indicate that the mother has a history of leaving her children unattended. Neighbors have reportedly called the police on her numerous times leading up to this tragic incident.
This is indeed a horrific case of child neglect. It’s not often at all that stories come out so severe that insects have reportedly fed on the victims. Nonetheless, these horrible things do happen, and mothers like Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell aren’t completely uncommon. Neglect stories involving cockroaches aren’t completely uncommon either. Back in 2013 The Huffington Post reported that two parents were arrested and charged with neglect after one of their children went to school with a cockroach in his ear.
[Photo: Bartlesville Police Department mugshot]