Brady Lynden Wearn & Mary Catherine Bedenbaugh, Newberry South Carolina parents charged in cocaine overdose death of 4 month old baby.
The parents of a 4-month-old South Carolina child who died in May have been charged with the infant’s death after cocaine was found in the baby’s system and feeding bottles, authorities revealed on Wednesday.
Brady Lynden Wearn, 18, and Mary Catherine Bedenbaugh, 17, of Prosperity, were booked with homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child.
First responders were called to Duckbill Road on May 2 over reports the child was not breathing and was unresponsive, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook release. The infant was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Since the child was under 17, the county Coroner’s Office and other agencies were called to investigate. Toxicology reports showed the child had ‘measurable levels’ of cocaine in the body.
‘Further toxicology tests yielded amounts of cocaine in the feeding bottles,’ the Sheriff’s Office said.
Parents test positive for coke, fentanyl & weed
After an investigation and autopsy, Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kelly Rose with the Newberry Pathology Group concluded the infant died due to ‘sudden unexpected infant death associated with recent cocaine ingestion.’
‘These are very difficult and time-consuming cases that investigators have to sort through, and we have to wait for testing on items, which takes a few weeks,’ said Sheriff Lee Foster. ‘This is exactly why we take drug enforcement so seriously. Drug use and abuse are not victimless crimes.’
It remained unclear how the 4 month old baby came to ‘ingest’ the narcotic.
Wearn and the girl remain held without bond in the Newberry County Detention Center.