Mom who admitted to throwing baby charged with manslaughter

Mom who admitted to throwing baby charged with manslaughter

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 woman, who admitted to throwing her now-deceased baby across the room, now faces neglect and manslaughter charges.

Police arrested Rebecca Mae Cox, 29, of Batesville on Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

On Sunday, Dec. 13, Cox told investigators she found her 3-month-old son dead in his crib next to his twin brother.

According to court documents, Cox said she "noticed cockroaches crawling out of his mouth."

When police arrived at the home, located in the 1500-block of North State Street, one of the officers administered infant cardio pulmonary resuscitation until an ambulance crew arrived and took the baby to White River Medical Center. The child was pronounced dead.

During their investigation, police learned that Cox "did not have a connection" with her deceased son and "could not stand him or stand holding him."

The Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division reported receiving an anonymous tip from someone who "witnessed several disturbing behaviors" from Cox, including "tossing" the infant from some distance to his father, identified as Michael Goodman.

A witness, according to the affidavit, reported hearing Cox asking on the night her baby died "how could God take the child I don't resent and leave the one I do?"

The witness also claimed Cox "admitted that she was high on methamphetamine (the night the baby died) and did not know what happened."

During questioning, Cox reportedly told detectives neither she nor Goodman used drugs around the babies.

"But later admitted to smoking methamphetamine inside the house and in the same bedroom where the babies were present," the court documents stated.

Cox told police, according to the affidavit, she had used methamphetamine "daily" for three weeks prior to the baby's death.

She said when Goodman voiced his concerns that she might not be able to care for the children because she could not hear them crying, Cox reportedly told detectives she was "able to stay up though because she had been using methamphetamine."

According to the affidavit, she tested positive for methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, and THC (marijuana).

Goodman also tested positive for methamphetamine and benzodiazepines.

Cox also stated she knew the house was "bad" and the living conditions were "horrible."

According to the court documents, investigators reported finding piles of dirty clothing and old food in the floor of the bedroom where the babies slept.

An investigators stated the house had a "severe" roach infestation.

"The roaches were observed crawling on the floor, table, appliances, furnishings, countertops and high chairs," the affidavit stated.

The investigator stated in his report leaving documents and a business card on the kitchen table and "within seconds roaches were crawling over the documents."

On Jan. 13, Batesville investigators received the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory autopsy results.

The medical examiner labeled the cause of death as "undetermined," stating the case was "complicated by numerous factors" including the baby's health and the "investigative information regarding the behavior of the parents and the possible unsuitability of the home."

Cox is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond at the Independence County Detention Center.

No word on what, if any, charges Goodman faces. According to the affidavit, he was on active parole at the time of the baby's death.

The Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services took the other baby into custody.

A medical exam at Arkansas Children's Hospital, according to the affidavit, revealed the infant had "bruising on the hand and elbow…and a hemorrhage in his left eye."

Region 8 News talked with neighbors in the area who said they were shocked this happened.

Joan Chartier and her husband saw police cars the day the baby died, but never thought something like this was happening.

"We seen them carrying out a little baby and you know I kind of teared up a little bit but we just figured it was probably SIDS or maybe the baby had some problems," Chartier said.

Chartier said the neighborhood is normally quiet and friendly.

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