A baby found unresponsive was starved to death and the medical examiner said she may have been dead for up to three and a half hours before 911 was called. The mother of the child and the mother’s husband are under arrest in Florida for the death of the newborn. Betsy Kee Stephens was not even a month old when her mother found her unresponsive and cold to the touch, prompting a call to 911.
According to the Orlando Sentinel on December 31, Ruby Angeline Stephens, 23, and Roy Allen Stephens, 48, were arrested in the death of the newborn baby. Roy is not the biological father of the infant, the baby was born as a result of the mother’s infidelity.
The couple had left their Indiana home to visit relatives in the Lakeland, Florida area. They met relatives for dinner at the Golden Coral in Lakeland, which is where Ruby said she noticed the baby’s feet were cold. She said she covered the baby’s feet with a blanket, but a little while later she noticed the baby’s feet were unusually cold and found the baby to be unresponsive.
911 was called and the baby was taken to the hospital, but pronounced dead. Records state that the baby weighed six pounds and one ounce at birth. When the baby was pronounced dead she weighed four pounds and one ounce.
The newborn had lost two pounds in less than a month and she died at half the normal weight for a baby her age. Normally a one-month-old should weigh about eight pounds, the medical examiner noted, according to Yahoo News.
The medical examiner’s autopsy revealed that the baby had starved to death. “She suffered tremendously over the 22 days that she was alive,” Mike Link, assistant chief of Lakeland Police, reported at a news conference. He called photographs of the baby “absolutely horrible,” according to the Huffington Post.
The mother told police that she “strictly breastfed” the baby every two to three hours, but the medical examiner revealed the baby hadn’t eaten in six to seven hours before she died. The baby may have been dead for about three and a half hours before the mother called 911 from the parking lot of the Golden Coral Restaurant, police report.
The Metro suggests the parents ate an “endless buffet” as the baby starved to death. Ruby told police that her husband wasn’t the biological father of the child and that the baby was the result of her infidelity. She also told police that her husband “didn’t pay much attention to the baby.”
The couple’s two other children, a one-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl were taken into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. The two appeared to be in good health, authorities report.