Dexter couple arrested on charges of infant neglect

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DEXTER, Mo. -- A 3-month-old Dexter, Mo., infant was placed in protective custody Thursday and her parents put in jail charged with neglecting her. the Daily American Republic newspaper reported.

Amanda Knight Garrett, 20, and Vabian Webb, 18, both of the 800 block of North Walnut, were charged Friday with the Class C felonies of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse by Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn.

Garrett and Webb are accused of failing to obtain and feed their daughter the necessary formula as provided by the Missouri Children's Division through its Women, Infant and Children's program.


After considering the complaints and probable cause affidavits filed with the court, Associate Circuit Judge Joe Satterfield issued warrants for the couple's arrest and ordered they be held without bond.

The charges stem from an investigation, which began Thursday when the Dexter Police Department was contacted by Division of Family Services Officer Kristi Burns and Stoddard County Juvenile Officer Christina Cunningham in regard to a 3-month-old infant being neglected.

"When we entered the residence, I noticed that it was hot in the house," Lt. Charles Sanders said in his probable cause affidavit. "In the living room, close to the front door, was a (portable crib) that the infant was in."

Sanders said the girl only was wearing a diaper.

"There was no fan in the living room and no air was stirring," Sanders said. "The infant's skin was warm to the touch and the infant was not sweating."

On the pad, under the infant, was a large wet spot from the infant's drool, Sanders said.

"The infant appeared to be very skinny for her age," Sanders explained. "I could see the infant's ribs and collar bone, as well as the infant's skin was loose and sagging on her arms and legs."

In the diaper bag, Sanders said, was a box of Enfamil, which contained five full bottles of formula. The box originally contained six bottles, he said.

"Amanda stated the doctor in St. Louis gave her the box and three more bottles (Wednesday)," Sanders said. "I asked Amanda if she fed her daughter anything other than the Enfamil that she was given by the doctor and she stated no."

The bottles, according to Sanders, were 2-ounce bottles and three had been used and a fourth had a nipple on it.

"The child has only had 6 ounces of milk in the last 15 hours," Sanders said. "(She) sleeps in a car seat or the (portable crib). There was no crib or bassinet in the house."

Sanders said he also found Pepcid, which had been filled on May 24, in the diaper bag. The dosage, he said, was three milliliters every 12 hours.

"I asked Amanda when the last time her daughter was given the medicine, and she stated that it was four days ago," Sanders said.

What Sanders described as black spots were seen on the infant's arm and foot.

Upon examination, he said, it appeared to be adhesive residue from where bandages were once on the infant's skin.

"I also noticed dirt under the infant's fingernails," Sanders said. "I asked Amanda if she bathed her daughter (Wednesday) or (Thursday). Amanda stated that she had not.

"She stated that she should have gave her a bath today."

While at the residence, Sanders asked the couple if they had been using any illegal drugs or medication.

"Both stated that they smoked marijuana three weeks ago while walking down the road," Sanders said in his incident report on file with the court.

Webb, he said, also reported taking two medications, which are prescribed to him.

"Vabian stated that he smokes K2," Sanders said.

When Sanders asked Webb what K2 was, he said, he was told it was "legal marijuana."

Webb, he said, gave him an empty K2 package, which had been purchased for $40 at a Dexter liquor store.

Sanders said Webb reported smoking the K2 on the front porch of his home.

"I asked Amanda what her daughter weighed when she was born; Amanda stated that she weighed 5 pounds 9 ounces," Sanders said.

At her Wednesday doctor's appointment, Sanders was told the infant had weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces.

While at the residence, Sanders said, neither Garrett or Webb "showed any signs of remorse and neither showed compassion toward the child. They walked around the house and went outside to smoke instead of holding their child or feeding her."

The infant was taken into protective custody, while her parents were arrested and taken to the police department for processing.

While being booked, Sanders said, neither parent asked "about their child one time; neither showed signs of remorse."

According to Detective Trevor Pulley's report, the infant, who is less than 3 months old and has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was placed into the care of the Missouri Children's Division and Stoddard County Juvenile Office due to "alleged malnutrition and neglect."

Garrett and Webb subsequently were transferred to the Stoddard County Jail.

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