Ruby StephensLakeland, Fl. – An Indiana couple visiting family in central Florida has been arrested after their 22-day-old daughter died from starvation in the car while they were at a Golden Corral.

On December 23, Lakeland police responded to a Golden Corral parking lot where they found 22-day-old Betsey Stephens dead inside a car.

The girl’s parents, 23-year-old Ruby Stephens and 48-year-old Roy Stephens, told police they had driven from Indiana to visit family. After checking into their hotel, the mother said she noticed the baby’s feet were cold so she put a blanket over her.

The couple then took Betsey, along with their two other children, ages 1 and 2, to meet family at a nearby Golden Corral. That’s where the mother said she checked Betsey again and called 911 when she found her unresponsive.

The following day, an autopsy would show Betsey had died from malnutrition through starvation – an extremely painful and prolonged death – and manner of death was homicide.

Betsey only weighed 4-pounds when she died; half the weight of a normal, healthy baby. To put that into perspective, Betsey lost two pounds in the 22 days she was alive.

Roy Stephens

Roy Stephens

Police arrested the couple and have charged them both with first-degree murder. Their other two children are in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Ruby first told investigators that she strictly breastfed Betsey every 3-4 hours during the drive down from Indiana. But after being presented with the autopsy findings, she said Betsey was not fed much during the day long drive because it was too hard to exit the vehicle while on the highway.

However, the medical examiner noted Betsey was not fed for six to seven hours prior to her death. Police went on to say that there was no doubt that Betsey was starved from the moment she was born, and that it was apparent by looking at her that something was really wrong.

“When I saw the photographs it shook me to my core because in thirty years, I have never seen anything like that,” said Assistant Police Chief Mike Link. “She suffered tremendously over the 22 days that she was alive.”

Why the couple allowed their baby to die in such a horrible way is still up for speculation, especially since the couple’s other two children seemed healthy and well cared for. But Ruby did confess to police that Betsey was the result of an affair and that her husband barely paid the child any attention.

Something else to note is that a preliminary investigation found Betsey was dead for at least 3 ½ hours before 911 was called.

That means either Betsey was dead for the majority of the family road trip, or that these chode-muffins didn’t call 911 until after they’d bellied up to the trough and sardined their disgusting felch suckers full of Golden Corral slop.

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