BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (PIX11) — An Oklahoma mother is charged with child neglect after her 3-month-old baby girl was found dead and being eaten by roaches.
The tiny body of 27-year-old Brittany Cherokee Dawn Bell’s daughter was found Jan. 8 inside their reportedly “roach-infested” apartment in Bartlesville, authorities say.
Bell initially told police she put the baby in the crib and when she returned to check on her, the baby was dead, according to Tulsa World.
She later changed her story, telling officers she fell asleep watching a movie with her 18-month-old twins and feared they may have smothered the baby by sitting on her.
The cause of death as “sudden unexplained infant death with manner of death undetermined,” according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
An investigator said the baby had been lying on the floor dead for so long that roaches started to feed on her lifeless body.
“Based on Bell’s own statements, I can conclude that she laid the baby on the floor and fell asleep without waking during which time Alice may have been suffocated by one or both of her twins or became distressed due to the surface of the floor and suffocated,” Investigator Jim Warring stated in the affidavit. “Also enough time passed that roaches were able to start feeding on both the baby’s legs and head. All of this took place less than 10 feet from the couch where Bell was reportedly sleeping.”
Bell’s twins were removed from her custody.
Her bond was set at $10,000.