Judge orders cocaine-intoxicated baby to remain in state care

An 18-month-old baby hospitalized due to strokes caused by cocaine will continue to be held in the custody of the state after a judge determined the child and her 9-week-old sister had no suitable relatives.

Columbus Juvenile Court Judge Warner Kennon Sr. issued his ruling Wednesday at a formal hearing, after examining evidence from a Georgia Division of Family and Children Services representative. Because a criminal case is pending against the children's mother, Amber Baxley, 19, and Jeremiah Linder, 26, Kennon said attorneys didn't present much argument at the hearing.

"Basically, I had to decide what was in the best interests of the children," Kennon said. "(The baby) had cocaine in her system. We don't know how it got there."

Read more about the case later today online and in print editions of the Ledger-Enquirer on Thursday.