The death of an infant boy in Jones County is under investigation, in part because his 19-year-old mother told a judge she took drugs while pregnant because she didn’t want a baby, according to the Laurel Leader-Call.
The son of Bailey C. Kitchens, born six weeks early on Aug. 24, died two weeks after he and his mother were released from a hospital, the newspaper reports.
The Jones County Sheriff’s Department had arrested Kitchens on a felony child abuse charge June 24 after she tested positive for ecstasy, meth and amphetamines, the Leader-Call reports. Kitchens was six months pregnant and was tested after authorities received tips that she was pregnant and taking drugs.
An affidavit shows Kitchens told investigators she had taken ecstasy and Adderall because she didn’t want the baby, the newspaper says.
Justice Court Judge Billie Graham ordered Kitchens held with no bond.
Later, Judge Howell Beech signed an order to allow Kitchens to bond out after she was taken to a hospital to give birth, but Graham told the newspaper it was her decision.
“The court can’t do anything beyond the moment of birth,” Graham told the Leader-Call. “We protected (the baby) as long as the law allowed.”
Graham said she understood Kitchens would go into rehab and family members would care of her child, the newspaper says.
Kitchens’ father and stepmother are raising Kitchens’ 5-year-old son, the Leader-Call reports. Kitchens and her baby have lived in three different places since they left the hospital, the newspaper says.
An autopsy is pending.
It’s unclear if the baby tested positive for drug exposure or birth defects, and if the Mississippi State Department of Health or the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services was asked to monitor the newborn’s welfare.