Parents charged with 9 month-old baby's death

by: Tom Jones Updated:

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A 9-month-old baby is dead, and now her mother and step-father are behind bars in connection with her murder.

Union City police arrested 22-year-old Cella Copeland and 25-year-old Otis Bennett, both allegedly involved with the death of their baby girl.

Bennett's mother, Hetty Bennett, 42, was also arrested and charged with child cruelty.

Police said the incident happened Monday at a home on Goodson Street. A police report indicates Bennett found the baby unconscious, face down in her pillow in her crib after checking on her every 30 minutes.

Police told Channel 2's Tom Jones they wouldn't discuss how the baby died.

"I can't go into details about the incident because it is a pending investigation," Officer Chris Murphy said.

Meanwhile, the report indicates the baby had asthma, but Copeland couldn't locate her medicine. Despite attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Officers said doctors noticed symptoms common with shaken baby syndrome or with her asthma problem.

Jones went by the home to get a comment but a man there didn't want to comment.

Police said the home had trash everywhere and there was rotten food in the kitchen, no electricity or gas, and flying and crawling insects in every room.

Neighbors still felt compassion for the family.

"I feel sorry for their family," Theresa Moore said.

Copeland and Bennett face child cruelty charges. Bennett is also charged with aggravated assault in connection with the case.



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