GUILTY FL - Betsey Stephens, 3 wks, starved to death, Lakeland, 23 Dec 2014

OkieGranny

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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/expert-22-day-old-baby-starved-to-death/nkg8Y/#__federated=1

A baby who was found dead in her car seat in a Florida restaurant parking lot had lost more than one-third of her body weight in the 22 days since she was born, a medical examiner testified Friday.

Betsey Kee Stephens died as a result of malnutrition and starvation, said Dr. Vera Volnikh, Polk County’s assistant medical examiner. “When we examined her stomach, small intestine and large intestine, all of them were empty,” Volnikh said. “There was no fat tissue on this baby.”

http://www.theledger.com/article/20150116/NEWS/150119537

Roy and Ruby Stephens, 48 and 23, respectively, are both facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child in the death of Betsy Kee Stephens on Dec. 23...

The family took a trip from Tennyson, IN, to visit family in the Lakeland, FL, area and arrived Dec. 23, reports state. The family went to Golden Corral on U.S. 98 North, and Ruby Stephens pulled Betsy out of the car to find she was cold to the touch and unresponsive.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20150214/news/150219630

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a couple accused in the starvation death of a 22-day-old baby...

The couple, who traveled to Lakeland from Tennyson, Ind., have two children together, but Roy Stephens was not Betsey's biological father. "The obvious infidelity and subsequent pregnancy created a strain on the marriage, which affected (Roy's) demeanor toward (Betsey) and (Ruby)," according to a Lakeland police arrest report.
 

wenwe4

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Oh that sweet baby girl. She only knew the pangs of hunger her entire little life. :( Where were the other children when this baby died - were they all 3 in car seats in the backseat?
 

tlcya

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I am almost sure there is a thread on this one but at the time the baby and family had not been named. Either that or this is another heinous and similar instance. :( The irony. This baby finally succumbed to starvation in a restaurant parking lot as her family gorged inside.

ETA I think I may be suffering from PeriM brain drain. I know I commented on another thread about this case but extensive searching does not reveal it. This is the second time I have recalled a thread that seemingly never existed in as many months. Heaven help me I think I am losing it.
 

lillybell

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What a little doll! How very sad.

And what a nasty pair these two are! That poor baby, only knowing hunger. I hope they throw the book at them. How very cruel.

Also, doesn't look like 'dad' missed many meals.
 

Jovi Girl

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I want to believe there were other reasons she died . Maybe mom was breastfeeding and no milk was being produced ? Maybe she had a condition where she didn't suckle and mom was extremely ignorant to the fact that the baby was starving ? I don't want to think these people purposely stRved this precious baby .
 

wenwe4

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I am almost sure there is a thread on this one but at the time the baby and family had not been named. Either that or this is another heinous and similar instance. :( The irony. This baby finally succumbed to starvation in a restaurant parking lot as her family gorged inside.

ETA I think I may be suffering from PeriM brain drain. I know I commented on another thread about this case but extensive searching does not reveal it. This is the second time I have recalled a thread that seemingly never existed in as many months. Heaven help me I think I am losing it.

Here are some:

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...s-old-Grants-Pass-starved-to-death-by-Parents

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...iest-Arrested-Starvation-of-Infant-Son-Smyrna

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...als-family-horror&highlight=starvation+infant
 

Merry

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I want to believe there were other reasons she died . Maybe mom was breastfeeding and no milk was being produced ? Maybe she had a condition where she didn't suckle and mom was extremely ignorant to the fact that the baby was starving ? I don't want to think these people purposely stRved this precious baby .

Me too. I mean the other two children were in good shape and the parents may of chosen to leave Betsey in the car if she was sleeping. Not to mention, some babies can be a pain to get to go to sleep and sometimes it can be due to an underlying mind related disorder that cannot be reasonably diagnosed until childhood such as early onset Schizophrenia or ADHD. I was one of those cases and my father said he'd pause whatever he was doing if we were out of the house and I miraculously took a nap during the day. I was also even abit of a pain to get to fall asleep during the night and relatives would take turns watching me late at night often. Turns out I do have ADHD as well as being high functioning on the Autism spectrum. Of course some of this is JMO and :twocents:.
 

tlcya

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I wish I could give the benefit of the doubt to these "parents" but that child did not starve in a few hours or a day. On top of that, baby sleeping or no, you don't leave a 22 month old let alone a 22 day old infant in the car while you and the other kids go in to dine. Period. This child was not even so much as an afterthought, that day or any other in her short life. MOO
 

TieDyeJedi

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I want to believe there were other reasons she died . Maybe mom was breastfeeding and no milk was being produced ? Maybe she had a condition where she didn't suckle and mom was extremely ignorant to the fact that the baby was starving ? I don't want to think these people purposely stRved this precious baby .
Could be. I am all for breastfeeding, but some hardcore advocates guilt and shame mothers with low supply, even comparing formula to poison and using it to child abuse. I wish I were joking.

If that were the case here, it would not be the first time this has happened because of that mindset - and I am not any more sympathetic towards the parents either way.
 

PrimeSuspect

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The couple, who traveled to Lakeland from Tennyson, Ind., have two children together, but Roy Stephens was not Betsey's biological father. "The obvious infidelity and subsequent pregnancy created a strain on the marriage, which affected (Roy's) demeanor toward (Betsey) and (Ruby)," according to a Lakeland police arrest report.


From OkieGranny's link in OP seems to answer the question, why, this couple (or by Stephen's domination over Ruby), purposely allowed this baby to die.
Why couldn't they give Betsey up for adoption if Stephen's hated the reminder that she wasn't his??!!! :cry:
 

tlcya

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Yeah, *cough *bullspit* cough* on the no exit opportunity excuse. this baby was a beautiful reminder of an ugly truth no one wanted a reminder of. Like I said. She was less than an afterthought to either adult.
 

SwampMama

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Such utter BS to say they hadn't fed the baby because they were driving. So did they not changed the diapers of the other kids for all that time also? Did they not stop for bathroom breaks for themselves and to get gas?

When did they and the other kids eat that day? They checked in at the hotel so why not feed the baby then? Why not feed the baby before going in the restaurant? Or in the restaurant? Why leave the baby in the car seat while they gorged themselves?

I have to presume that this was HIS family that they were visiting because surely her family would have wanted to see the baby? It's a brand new baby, everyone loves meeting a tiny new one and oohing and ahhing over them!

The baby had lost 2.5 lbs in her 22 days of life. She had NO fat on her at all (and normal people, even underweight have some fat as that is normal). That tells me for sure that she was NOT being fed.

Oh and she had been dead for MORE than 3 hours before the parents called 911.
Sickening!!!

And Tlcya? Im sure I saw this gorgeous baby on WS before. I also could have sworn we already had a thread on it. I remember that adorable little face in that picture. I searched again too and found nothing. Thanks to OkieGranny for posting it so that this angelic little one has a thread that we can find.

And was the mom breastfeeding or bottlefeeding?
 

tlcya

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mom claims breastfeeding. I imagine if hubby resented the result of her infidelity he would begrudge buying formula for it.
 

SwampMama

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To me, it's just not possible that the mother did not know this child was losing weight. The baby lost about 1/3 of her weight in her 22 days of life. Instead of beginning to fill out, get bigger and outgrow her tiny items of clothing, she was rapidly wasting away. This "mother" had 2 other children so she was not some inexperienced new mom who can claim ignorance.

If she was breastfeeding then I am also a bit puzzled. In those first few weeks, breasts are especially full and are painful if the baby does not eat. Also if the baby does not eat, the supply will dry up. If she is not feeding the baby, the milk dries up. I am wondering if her milk supply was drying up because it was obviously not being used by the baby as it should be. She had to know this. ( I am NOT at all saying that she did not have enough milk for the baby so it wasn't her fault. She clearly was NOT feeding this child as evidenced by the 13+ hour trip when the baby received no food.)

And the fact that the baby had been dead at least 3 hours - they checked into the hotel and then went to eat. Did she not check the baby at the hotel or when they pulled up to the restaurant. She obviously hadn't heard the baby cry for more than 3 hours or checked the baby in that time. Betsey was a newborn! They are notorious for not sleeping long periods of time. If my baby was sleeping, I STILL checked on him every few minutes just to make sure he was breathing ok, in a comfy position, etc. That's what parent's do!

Ok so they didn't feed the baby during the trip? The trip was OVER 13 hours long!! 850+ miles. Can YOU imagine going that long without food or even water? Meanwhile the chubby hubby looks like he hadn't missed a meal or snack in his life.

I am just so disgusted by these 2. And who in the he** was "the family" they were eating with? Why on earth would the family think it was ok that a newborn was left alone in a car like that!

Such a sad story. I am surprised that they are going for the DP on this but that tells me there are more tragic details to come. From what i understand, the way the baby looked was just devastating to the first responders and people who dealt with her case.
 

tlcya

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I suspect mom was only feeding baby occasionally by breast. As you decrease your output, you go through a few days of discomfort and then your milk dries up. I suspect that is what happened shortly after little punkin came home from the hospital. And then mom just stopped feeding her at all.

There is no way on earth that family did not stop to eat, to pee, anything so the no exit excuse is some bullcrap. No way those little ones in the car did not need potty breaks or changes themselves.
 

cocomod

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I cannot even imagine. :cry: I think this is the third case I have read this year of a parent starving a small baby to death.

We all know how precious a baby's cry is when she is hungry. Would lack of food cause lack of energy, cause lack of ability to make much noise? Would this precious one have possibly been in a coma for a while? What a horrific way to die. :(

:cry: :cry: :cry:

:rose: R.I.P. Little one :rose: She is now free in Heaven. She is now loved beyond measure. She will never be hurt again.
 
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