Parents of bedridden Macon girl, 4, face cruelty charges after roaches seen crawling on bed

/ The Telegraph

The parents and grandmother of a bedridden 4-year-old Macon girl face second-degree child cruelty charges after authorities allegedly found the girl — who weighed 16 pounds — at home in a “very vulnerable” condition with roaches “crawling out of” her medical equipment.

Details of the case were outlined in arrest warrants issued Tuesday for the girl’s mother and father, Sharika Bell-Stephens, 25, and Deontray M. Stephens, 28, along with the child’s grandmother, Patrice Bell, 61, all of whom were said to have helped care for the child.

On Oct. 7, during what was described in the warrants as “a medical assessment” of the girl, officials went to her house on West Ridge Circle off Forsyth Road and saw the girl “laying on her bed, connected to her feeding tube but not to her oxygen or pulse oximeter.”

She was said to be suffering from “excessive weight loss,” but the child’s underlying medical condition was not noted in the warrants, which further mentioned that when officials found her “roaches were observed crawling out of the (medical) equipment and in the victim’s bed.”

The warrants said the adults had not been properly caring for the girl and that she was “in a very vulnerable state medically.” The girl was taken to a local hospital where sheriff’s officials were called as were representatives of Bibb County’s Division of Family & Children Services.

Details of the child’s current condition were not immediately available Thursday, but the girl’s mother and father, arrested on Wednesday, were being held without bail at the county jail.

The girl’s grandmother had not been arrested, according to jail records.