A Thomason Avenue couple faces second degree child cruelty charges after their 9-month-old daughter was found dead in a suspected drug house Monday, according to court testimony.
Helen Price, 30, and Stephen Cambron, 40, received a preliminary hearing in Recorder's Court Tuesday after they were arrested Monday morning. They will face additional drug charges during a Wednesday morning Recorder's Court hearing.
Det. Katina Williams said police arrived at the 5119 Thomason Avenue house Monday morning after receiving reports that a baby was unresponsive. When Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan arrived at 10:45 a.m., he said the infant appeared to have been dead for at least six hours. The baby's body was found in the unnamed couple's bed, he said.
"The baby was still alive when the grandmother checked on it at 1:30 a.m.," Bryan said. "The couple woke up and found the baby unresponsive and called it in."
Williams said Price later told police that she and Cambron left the child in the care of the couple while they stayed in a shed behind the house for the night.
During the investigation, Williams said Price confessed to smoking an unknown amount of meth starting at 7 p.m., and did not return to the house until her child was found dead the following morning. She told police the child could crawl and was known to pull up on tables. Price could not say what items her friends kept in the bedroom, Williams said.
Detectives found several items tainted with meth in the bedroom where the child was found, according to court testimony. Williams did not specify the amount of drugs or drug related objects found in the room.
Williams said one of the people put in charge of watching the infant admitted to smoking the remainder of a small baggie of meth in that same bedroom prior to the child's death. That suspect was not named during Tuesday's hearing.
Judge Michael Cielinski set Price and Cambron's bond at $25,000 each.
The 9-month-old girl's body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy Tuesday morning, Bryan said. A toxicology screening will be performed as part of the autopsy.