A couple has been arrested for the death of their 18-day-old baby, the second child to die under their care. According to KSNT, Debra and Gage Roberts, both aged 22, are facing charges of child cruelty and second-degree murder. Detectives grew suspicious of the couple after learning that their first child died under similar circumstances.
According to a police report dated April 24, 2016, officers entered a hotel room in Bakersfield, California, and found an unconscious baby on the floor. A hotel maid was administering CPR. Gage Roberts told police that he woke up to find his baby boy, Crimson, unconscious and tried to revive him with hot water.
The 22-year-old man revealed that he went into shock when he found his baby boy and took a shower to calm down.
Detectives found his actions odd.
Gage Roberts admitted that he was in the same bed as the infant and they had slept face-up the whole time. However, a medical examiner found inconsistencies with the statement when the baby was examined. The coroner in his report claimed that Crimson had been suffocated.
Gage, a lifelong member of the Mormon Church, had been was living in a hotel room with his pregnant wife in Bakersfield, California, paid for by the church. Police found out that the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints had decided to stop covering costs a day before the infant died.
Gage and Debra Roberts’ first child, Camden, had died under conspicuously similar circumstances.
The 6-month-old baby boy died in November 2015 and according to Gage, the coroner told him the cause of death was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
CBS News is reporting that detectives felt that the physical evidence did not match up to Robert’s account about sleeping and waking up to find his son not breathing. They grilled his wife Debra, and she admitted that Gage allegedly killed both babies and she blamed herself for doing nothing to protect them.
Roberts countered her claims saying that detectives had piled pressure on his wife and made her accuse him unjustly.
“When there’s a lot of pressure on one person, the first thing they’re gonna do is deflect it in any way possible.”
The 22-year-old man revealed that if he had killed the babies, he would have disappeared as soon as he committed the crimes.
The couple was arrested just hours after Debra gave birth to a third baby boy on July 21.
Detectives are investigating the death of the first child.
[Featured Image by Erik Reis/Thinkstock]