A young couple was arrested on Friday in Bakersfield, California, mere hours after the wife gave birth to their third child. When the cops discovered what Gage and Debra Roberts had done in the seedy motel where they stayed, they knew they needed to act fast, or their new baby might not live long.
Both Gage and Debra Roberts have been charged with second-degree murder and willful cruelty in the death of their second child. Likely fearing for their third child’s safety, police arrested Gage and Debra on Friday just hours after Debra gave birth to their third child. The baby is now in protective custody.
The couple is facing charges of second-degree murder and cruelty to a child, in the death of their infant son Crimson, who died at the Downtowner Hotel in April 2016.
Police reports state detectives felt Gage Roberts’ story of waking up with his baby in bed and finding him not breathing was inconsistent with the infant’s bluish appearance.
Officers also took note that the couple had a 6-moth-old baby die in 2015, in Kansas, in a “strikingly similar” way. [Source: Kern Golden Empire]
Police officers were called to the motel where Gage and Debra were staying in 2016 after Crimson, their 18-day-old baby boy, stopped breathing. They immediately noticed that the circumstances surrounding the unresponsive infant’s demise were “strikingly similar” to those in the death of the Roberts’ first child, who had also passed away just one year prior.
The couple’s first child, Camden, died suddenly in November 2015 at just 6-months-old. At the time, the family was staying at another cheap hotel in Kansas. Then, in April 2016, their second child, 18-day-old Crimson, also died. This time, the family was in Bakersfield, California.
“I remember waking up, realizing that he was gone, and I tried CPR-that didn’t work, and I realized that wasn’t going to work, so I kind of freaked out a little bit, so I took a shower,” said Gage.
The parents said they had been sleeping in the bed with the infant with the child face up, but investigators say the physical evidence doesn’t support that, without offering additional details.
Police said that the couple were homeless and had been receiving assistance from the Mormon Church, but that the church cut them off the day before young Crimson died.
Less than a year earlier, their first child, Camden, had died unexpectedly at six months old in Topeka, Kansas, where the couple were then living.
The medical examiner determined the cause of that death, on November 11, 2015, to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. [Source: Daily Mail]
In light of their arrest, investigators in Topeka will be looking into baby Camden’s death once again to try to determine whether either of his parents was at fault. Meanwhile, their youngest child — the only one still living — is safe, for the time being. However, had Gage and Debra Roberts not been arrested so soon after the baby’s birth, the infant’s days surely would have been numbered.
While Gage and Debra Roberts have not yet been convicted in a court of law, and they are innocent until proven guilty, those who don’t believe in coincidences will find it hard to reconcile the fact that two of their babies died so similarly, and the homeless couple cannot seem to offer any viable explanation. The fact that Gage hopped in the shower after finding his second son dead instead of immediately calling 911 also makes him look guilty.
At the very least, these two are terrible parents. In the worst case scenario, they are murderers. Either way, they should both refrain from procreating in the future.