Teen Father Charged in Death of Newborn to be Adopted by Lesbian Couple
Drew James Wheeler-Smith, a teenage father from Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested Wednesday and charged with neglect in connection to the death of a 4-month-old boy, who was supposed to be adopted by a lesbian couple, Des Moines, Iowa, CBS-affiliate station KCCI reports.
According to Des Moines police, Wheeler-Smith, 17, may face more charges, depending on the results of the child’s autopsy.
Police say Wheeler-Smith was supposed to watch his son, Gabriel King McFarland, at 7:30 p.m. at the child’s mother’s home. The mother, Markeya Atkins, 16, ran an errand but when she returned at 8:20 p.m., she found the father gone and the child alone and unresponsive in his glider chair with white foam around his mouth.
Atkins said the father was not at the apartment when she returned, and when she tried calling his cell phone, the call went straight to voice mail.
"You’re looking at not even an hour’s worth of care with someone who doesn’t live with the baby," Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax told KCCI.
Halifax told the New York Daily News that Atkins was "clearly distraught. She reacted appropriately for a parent faced with this kind of death. She isn’t suspected of anything at this point.