Bartlesville Infant Found Dead, Mother Arrested

Monday, April 20th 2015, 5:17 pm
By: Dee Duren

A Bartlesville mother was arrested for child neglect after her infant daughter was found dead. An affidavit filed in Washington County court said they believe the baby was left lying on the floor for enough time that roaches began "feeding" on her.

Authorities believe her mother, Brittany Bell, is a heavy drug user who was asleep near the child when she died, the affidavit states.

Bartlesville Police say Bell, 27, called 911 on January 8, 2015. She initially told officers she found the baby dead in her crib, but later said she had placed the infant on the floor while watching a movie with her 18-month-old twins. 

The affidavit says Bell told police she was afraid one of her twins had smothered the infant due to jealousy, and that's why she lied.

Police learned a neighbor called officers in December to report Bell was leaving her children alone in the apartment. At that time, Bell arrived back home and told police she'd only been gone five minutes, the affidavit states.

The cause of the child's death is listed as sudden unexplained infant death, the manner not determined. The investigator said he believes Bell laid the baby on the floor and fell asleep less than 10 feet away on the couch. The infant may have suffocated from the surface of the floor or by one of the other children in the room, the affidavit states.

"Enough time passed that roaches were able to start feeding on both the baby's legs and head," the investigator said.

The twins were taken into DHS child welfare.

Bell appeared in court Monday, and a bond of $10,000 was set.