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Independence mom implicated in her six-month-old girl’s death

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A 31-year-old Independence woman in behind bars Friday and charged in the death of her six-month-old daughter.

DeShelle Atkison is charged in Jackson County with abuse or neglect of a child - resulting in death and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to prosecutors the baby girl, Betsy Atkison, died on January 31st. Independence police were called to the home on the report of a non-breathing infant. According to court documents, police arriving on scene found the infant dead in conditions they deemed unfit for living.

In a probable cause statement a detective details the conditions of the baby’s room as "filthy, with bags of trash leaking on the floor" and "evidence of rats in the child's room and in the kitchen."

Police also describe the infant as thin, her rib bones showing through her skin and laying on stained sheets. According to court documents the girl's mother, DeShelle, admitted to police Betsy had been sick, wheezing and coughing frequently.

The girl's mother also admitted in the last four days before Betsy died, she had only fed the girl six ounces of formula and three-to-four bites of baby food a day.

A neighbor of Atkison told FOX 4: “That’s just the fact. You should have gotten your kid help, you didn’t so you’re going to be charged with the murder case because you didn’t go get your kid help?"

The Jackson County Medical Examiner declared the girl's death a homicide on March 31st. Friday afternoon the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office filed charges and Independence police arrested Atkison at her home.

According to court documents, police removed the other four of Atkison’s children from the home the day the girl died because of its unsanitary conditions. Atkison remains in jail on a $100,000 bond and is not to have contact with children under the age of 17.

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14 comments

  • ap

    This was my baby cousin. Her father loved her very much he begged and pleaded to see Betsy and my grandma was begging for her to be seen by a doctor the last week of her life want allowed visitation at all. He thought about kidnapping her but didn’t want to mid out on more of her life if he was to get in trouble. My uncle is devastated this was his only child he loved her very much

  • Ben

    As the police led mom away, it appeared she has been eating quite well and even had time to put her hair in a whirly bird. Too bad she just didn’t have time to feed the baby and clean the house.

  • Ben

    If you cannot afford to care for and feed your babies, don’t have them. This women was like an old breeding sow. She kept pumping out more kids and allowed them to roll in the filth. Do any of these kids have the same father?

  • Ja

    This woman had an ongoing case with socialworkers and was being reported on repeatedly for the wellbeing of her children. Her social worker could have prevented this in many ways and there were many times that something should have been done because their lives were endangered. She was also receiving government assistance to take care of her children, so there was no problem finding food for them. I know that one of the other father’s tried to speak out for them many times, but was considered a “vindictive ex” trying to get her in trouble. And the woman’s mother (the grandmother) lived in the same home. She is just as much to blame on the death of that poor child.

  • JR

    That was my baby cousin and I am so glad that they finally got her in jail baby girl did not deserve to die she should have gave her to her daddy not killed her. Baby girl you are loved and are missed dearly

  • Crystal Mason

    I would like to say to the family, I’m very sorry for your loss, and I pray that the other children be placed in loving and caring homes. There are so many couples wanting children and will love them and take great care of them…..I know this is a rough time for you and I will be praying that God strengthen you and keep you and give you peace and take care of everything. May God bless your family….Remember Jesus loves those children and He is going to do whats best for them….. I’m a mother of 7 and a grand mother of 3 and I truly feel with all my heart if I couldn’t do it I would want some one to stand up and do it for me….. cause its not about me, but about the babies, I will continue to pray for your family

  • Leanna

    I am so sorry for the loss of this precious baby girl.
    If she lives with her mom why isn’t mom being charged? or questions or anything? I seen that she has a public defender now.. what a very sad story

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