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Dexter couple arrested on charges of infant neglect

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

(Photo)
Webb
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.

(Photo)
Garrett
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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Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Please do not let these two ever breed AGAIN. This is just ridiculous. I say they go without food until they know what it feels like. Poor baby. At least she will be better off now, I hope.

-- Posted by Hot Dog on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 10:53 AM

Here's an advertisement for Pro-Choice advocates. I'm guessing the tax payer's will be raising this child.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 11:35 AM

grandma- your statement disgusts me. Just because these two idiots can not raise the child, it doesn;t mean the child should have been aborted! In situations when dfs takes a child out of the home, the first step is to find a relative who can care for the child....so no, it won't be on taxpaeyer's backs to raise the child.

And even if it was, I would rather see my tax dollars go to raising a child before I would want to see my tax dollars being wasted by Obama and his stupid healthcare reform!

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 1:31 PM

Sick comment grandma73 that you should have kept to yourself. This is not a "Pro-Choice" advertisement. This is a classic example of 2 people who have chosen to care for themselves over their special-needs infant. I applaud the DFS officer for taking charge of the situation and the judge for issuing the warrant. I pray that this child will be placed in a loving home where she is nurtured. This is one child I do not mind donating a few tax dollars to. Shame on her pathetic excuses for parents for throwing her away.

-- Posted by myhumbleopinion on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 2:25 PM

There are some things in this world that I just don't understand, and this is one of them. How do you look at an innocent child, knowing it needs nourishment, knowing it needs care, knowing it needs affection...and then do nothing? How is it possible to be *that* lazy? It's not just that it disgusts and infuriates me---it makes me *hurt* to know that there are people like that in this world. The bad guys aren't just the ones who openly abuse and set out to harm other people---the bad guys are also the ones who just don't care. And these two are some of the bad guys.

-- Posted by MusicMaker on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 3:50 PM

Poor kid. Hopefully it will go to a loving home & have a much better life than she would have had with this set of winners. If they didn't want her, they should have given her up for adoption instead of starving her to death.

Can sterilization be part of their sentence?

BTW, Grandma, that was low even for you.

-- Posted by Just__Me on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 4:21 PM

How is this a pro-choice advertisement? There were no restrictions on Amanda Garrett's ability to get an abortion when she was pregnant. That would have only made sense (although still in bad taste) if she had wanted an abortion but it was illegal to do so...

-- Posted by bobby62914 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 5:14 PM

So, everyone against ObamaCare (as you all call it) have no problem with how many people will receive it.

It may have been low for ol' Grandma, but at least enough people still believe in a woman's right to choice that it's still legal. Even though the bible thumpers are trying to impose laws that the lady must first listen to the baby's heart beat before the act is performed. To me, that's the low shot.

We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 5:26 PM

Here's an advertisement for Pro-Choice advocates. I'm guessing the tax payer's will be raising this child. -- Posted by grandma73

1. It could be an advertisement for Birth Control Advocates.

2. Probably these are the very type of people who would not consider abortion, but opt for the welfare progams which having a child qualifies them for.

What do you think, grandma ... if you were of child-bearing age and didn't want a baby for whatever reason ... Would you opt for birth control measures before-the-fact, or for abortion after-the-fact?

A matter of a woman's choice, it seems to me ... pills or condoms or implants, or choosing to kill what could/should be considered a life? All excused by 'it's her body,' even if she isn't sexually responsible?

-- Posted by gurusmom on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 5:53 PM

Some people don't need to be parents. These people are two of them. This world will eventually have a population problem, most likely sooner than later.

I've never been that irresponsible. I would not have the abortion, but I am Pro-Choice obviously. I have had friends that have had to make the very tough decision.

I certainly hope you are signed up for foster parenting, gurusmom. Why don't you take care of unwanted children. Or else face it, the kid is better off with your cloud god.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 6:58 PM

Man Granny you got the moralists going today..don't you know you're suppose to believe like them or they come after you with their torches and pitchforks..didn't you watch Frankensteins Monster.bunch of Demagogues the lot of them..

-- Posted by Chickenlips on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 7:22 PM

Even birds know to feed their young.

-- Posted by CapeRN on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 8:30 PM

And Grandma, "your cloud god"? Really? I've got news for you, lady: there's a God, and you're not Him(thankfully).

-- Posted by CapeRN on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 8:35 PM

Sadly, programs in place to prevent this from happening are being cut so we don't have to pay a few cents more in taxes. Non-profit advocates are also collapsing. Citizens for Missouri's Children, which fought for children's rights for years, is now gone. Still, there are existing programs that are doing a lot with dwindling resources. In Dexter alone there is Mother to Mother, Parents as Teachers (for now), and Building Blocks. To adopt, there's Lutheran Family Children's Services. Offering support to local programs is the Missouri Children's Trust Fund. If the parents cared, they would have found parenting help. Now, how much will it cost the state to care for the child? At least there are a few foster parents left, despite the lack of resources they get from the state.

-- Posted by qzerp on Tue, Jun 8, 2010, at 8:58 AM

Wow....this story is about a couple of dead-beat losers who would rather spend thier government check buying pot and getting high then taking care of a precious life that they created and you turned it into a debate on abortion. Instead of wasting energy arguing amongest yourselves on who's right or wrong, why not be thankful that we're not reading a story about an infant found DEAD from neglect.

-- Posted by USAFGuy on Tue, Jun 8, 2010, at 10:59 AM

I am always amazed by people who have children and are in no shape mentally or financially to be parents. Just ask different people you know, "why did you have children?" About 90 per cent will tell you it was "an accident", even married people. There are people who have 5 or 6 children and not much else, why would just one or two children not do? Seems like they have them as most people have puppies and get tired of them or give them away (or have then taken away) like dogs, when found to be troublesome.

-- Posted by ArcticFox on Tue, Jun 8, 2010, at 2:08 PM

Oh grandma, what big gnashing teeth you have, all the better to bite, chew us up and spit us out.

-- Posted by stardog on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:33 AM


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