Parents charged after infant dies from cocaine, police say; drug found in bottles

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Brady Wearn (left) and Mary Bedenbaugh (From: Newberry County Sheriff’s Office)

NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina parents of a baby who died in May have been charged after tests found cocaine in the child’s system.

According to the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, EMS was called on May 2 about a 4-month-old who was unresponsive and not breathing.

The infant was taken to a local hospital and was pronounced dead.

The sheriff’s office said toxicology reports showed the child had measurable levels of cocaine in their body and further tests found amounts of cocaine in the feeding bottles.

Investigators determined that the child died due to recent cocaine ingestion and the death was ruled a homicide.

Both parents also tested positive for cocaine, fentanyl and marijuana, the sheriff’s office said.

The parents, identified as 18-year-old Brady Lynden Wearn and 17-year-old Mary Catherine Bedenbaugh, have been charged with homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child.

They were being held at the Newberry County Detention Center while they await a bond hearing.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Child Fatality Unit and the South Carolina Department of Social Services were investigating.

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