BATESVILLE, Ark. – A Batesville mother says her daughter is innocent, after she was arrested in the death of her own three-month-old baby.
According to the Batesville Police Department, officers arrested 29-year-old Rebecca Cox Tuesday on charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a minor.
During a nearly two-month long investigation, an affidavit revealed family and friends told police Cox “couldn’t stand baby Elijah” and she “didn’t have a connection with him.”
“I don’t believe my daughter hurt her baby,” said Donna Webb. “She’s a loving mom. But now I’m a few thousand feet from where my baby is sitting.”
Webb lives across the street from the Independence County Detention Facility, her daughter’s new home for the past 48 hours.
“I flash my lights at night,” Webb said. “Just some sort of sign to let her know mom’s here.”
On Dec. 13, Cox told police she placed her three-month-old twin boys face down on their stomachs in the same crib. When she woke up, she noticed Elijah was not breathing.
“She blames herself for falling asleep that night and it’s terrible,” Webb said. “She lives it over and over.”
The lead investigator of this case, Kyle Williford, said when Cox picked up the baby, she noticed cockroaches crawling out of his mouth.
The affidavit stated there was a major roach infestation in the home.
“She told me that she stayed awake to keep the bugs away from the babies,” Webb said. “She couldn’t sleep because she didn’t feel safe.”
Webb said Cox and the babies’ father, Michael Goodman, lived with his mother.
“She hated living there, but she wanted to keep her family together,” Webb said.
According to police, the home’s unlivable conditions and the parents’ drug use contributed to the infant’s death.
In the affidavit, Cox admitted to using meth the night her son died.
“She told me that she was using,” Webb said.
The medical examiner said the cause of Elijah’s death was undetermined, noting his health issues, the parents’ behavior and the possible “unsuitability of the home” were complicating factors.
“In my heart, I know,” Webb said. “I’ve seen her with those babies. She could not hurt them.”
Webb said her daughter was seeking help for her drug addiction and postpartum depression.
“She’s always had a rough life,” Webb said. “I guess seeing that baby and reflecting back on her thing she had to go through, she kind of pushed him away so she wouldn’t have to relive all of that.”
However, Webb said Cox is now reliving something much worse: her son’s death.
“I want to see my daughter out of there and back home, working on being a better mom like she was,” Webb said.
Until then, Webb will continue looking across her yard to the jail, hoping her daughter is looking back.
“If you can, look out the window because I’m out here looking,” Webb said. “Love you.”
According to the affidavit, Cox and Goodman tested positive for meth.
Goodman is currently behind bars for violating parole. Police could not say if he will face any charges in this case.
Elijah’s twin brother is in the custody of the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services.
Fox 16 News obtained surveillance video of Cox showing up at the police department Tuesday, only hours after the charges were filed.
Police called it a weird coincidence, but Webb had a different answer.
“Someone told her [Cox] that police were looking for her,” Webb said. “She didn’t want them to think she was running or nothing. She ain’t got nothing to hide. So she stepped in, ‘Hey, I’m here. What do you want?,’ and they put cuffs on her.“