Newberry Co. Sheriff’s Office: Parents charged after 4-month-old dies from cocaine ingestion

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office says two parents have been charged with homicide by child abuse after an investigation revealed that cocaine was in their 4-month-old child’s system when they died.

“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,” stated Sheriff Foster “This is exactly why we take drug enforcement so seriously. Drug use and abuse are not victimless crimes.”

On May 2, officials say EMS responded to the residence on Duckbill Road for reports of an infant being unresponsive and not breathing. Officials say the 4-month-old was transported to Newberry Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

According to authorities, toxicology reports showed a measurable amount of cocaine in the infant’s system as well as cocaine measured on the child’s feeding bottles.

Coroner Kneece said, “These cases are very difficult and emotional from the start with an infant being involved. It takes multiple agency cooperation from the beginning. I am very proud of the dedication of ALL agencies involved and how effortless it is was for everyone to work together.”

Deputies say the parents were 18-year-old Brady Lynden Wearn and 17-year-old Mary Catherine Bedenbaugh. Authorities say both parents were served warrants for homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child. During the investigation, officials say both parents were given drug screenings which each came back positive for cocaine, fentanyl and marijuana.

Categories: Local News, Newberry