WARRICK COUNTY — A Boonville couple face murder charges stemming from an investigation alleging they starved their infant son to death, court records show.
Jakob C. Scott, 22, and Caylin O. Marie Monroe, 23, are accused of repeatedly failing to feed the baby properly or get him medical treatment, despite their concerns for his health and being told by the Indiana Department of Child Services to keep a feeding log, according to a probable cause affidavit filed April 26.
The Warrick County Sheriff's Department began an investigation while responding about 12:48 p.m. Feb. 15 to the 3800 block of Honeysuckle Drive for a report of an unconscious baby. When deputies arrived, fire personnel was already giving CPR to the child.
Monroe told police the baby was fine when she put him to sleep at 4 a.m. that morning but was unresponsive and not breathing when she woke up around 12:30 p.m. Monroe said the baby was lying on his back with foamy saliva coming out of his mouth. She said she then screamed for Scott to wake up, called 911 and was instructed to the baby CPR., according to the affidavit.
Monroe told police the reason she put the baby to sleep so late is that she and her children were with Scott, who works nights, waiting for him to finish his shift.
As police were speaking with the couple, a medic said a doctor gave instructions to stop the resuscitation because the baby couldn't be revived. Detectives and the Warrick County Coroner's Office later arrived at the scene and the baby was pronounced dead.
A pathology report found the child's cause of death was malnourishment and starvation, according to the affidavit.
Scott and Monroe met with investigators on April 21, at which time Monroe agreed to an interview. She told police her son was born small, but healthy, and had difficulty growing. She said she fed the baby 6 ounces of formula every two to four hours, plus an extra 2 ounces if he still seemed hungry.
Monroe said that on at least one occasion, her mother said she thought there was something wrong with the baby but didn't think he was malnourished. Monroe said her friend also asked her why the child was so small, to which she said she replied, "Yeah, he is a little small."
She also told police she thought her son might have an underlying condition but she did not have the time to find a new pediatrician, the affidavit alleges.
At some point, Monroe was referred to a course by the Indiana DCS after an incident at an emergency room related to the weight of another child of hers. When asked by police about the course, Monroe said she was keeping feeding logs and showing them to a DCS worker.
Monroe denied that the baby was starved, even as police told her an autopsy found there was nothing in the child's stomach. She then asserted that she fed the baby before returning home from Scott's place of work. Police asked her if it was normal for her to miss feedings, and she replied, "Sometimes yeah" because she was busy and didn't have time, the affidavit alleges.
Monroe told police she had the baby at night while Scott took care of the kids while she was at work. She added that the baby would sometimes sleep through the night, but that she would wake him up occasionally to feed him because she was worried. She said she had planned to take the baby to the doctor but never did. When asked why, despite getting herself checked by a doctor on her days off, she said "I should've," the affidavit alleges.
Monroe also said she was too busy with other things to call a doctor, relied on Scott to help with the baby and expected more help from her support system.
She then told police the baby would still be alive if she was feeding him properly and that she didn't seek help because she was afraid her children would be taken away. She also admitted the last time she fed the baby was about 4:30 p.m. the day before the baby died, according to the affidavit.
At one point she said to police, "How do you expect to (expletive) starve a baby when you work daytime? How do you expect me to starve him when I work all day?" and "It takes two to take care of kids," the affidavit alleges.
Police later interviewed Scott, who admitted the baby did not eat enough and said "All I know is that she said she was feeding him," the affidavit alleges.
Scott, like Monroe, told police he thought the baby should have been taken to a doctor but he was scared, adding that Monroe decided not to take him.
He told police said he knew the baby would end up dead if he wasn't taken to a hospital and that he never thought about taking him, even if it meant him going to jail. Eventually, he admitted the baby was only fed when he woke up crying.
Scott and Monroe each face one count of murder and two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. All counts are level 1 felonies.
Scott is scheduled to appear before a jury on Oct. 18 at Warrick Superior Court. A trial date has yet to be scheduled for Monroe.
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