A couple of faith-healing Christian parents from Oregon are now facing murder charges after their newborn daughter's death in March. The parents, 24-year-old Sarah Mitchell and 21-year-old Travis Mitchell, are members of the Followers of Christ religious sect. The group, which is somewhat notorious in the Oregon area, believes that medical care violates scriptural teachings, and utilizes prayer and holy anointing oil rather than doctors and medication.
Sarah Mitchell reportedly gave birth to premature twin girls on March 5. The labor and delivery didn't take place in a hospital or medical facility, but rather (and in accordance with her faith-healing Christian beliefs), in her parents' Oregon City home. It is unknown precisely how premature the babies were at the time of their birth, as Mitchell had had no prenatal care during her pregnancy. However, as KATU 2 reports, it's believed that the faith-healing Christian mom may have delivered as much as two full months prematurely.
Investigators say that one of the babies, Gennifer, died within hours of the birth, after apparently having significant struggles with her breathing. State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson, who performed Gennifer's autopsy, says that the infant's cause of death was directly related to her prematurity and under-developed lungs. The baby's cause of death was determined to be "natural."