Mother in custody after baby eats lethal amount of cocaine in West Memphis hotel

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — West Memphis Police arrested a mother who was wanted on homicide charges after her baby swallowed a lethal amount of cocaine, police said.

Kadaysha Bedford, 34, was wanted on second-degree murder and child endangerment charges, West Memphis Police say.

According to police, Bedford and the child's father, Anthony Lewis, were dealing cocaine from a room at the Crown Inn on May 2. They allegedly left some of the drugs out on the table, where Bedford's 17-month-old son got into the drugs and swallowed some.

“He’d gotten in the drugs," West Memphis Police Captain Joe Baker said. "It was obvious on the baby’s mouth that he’d eaten a large amount.”

The couple left the hotel for 45 minutes, then arrived with the child at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis.

“When they left the motel the baby was still breathing, so there was possibly a chance to save the baby,” Baker said.

Doctors were immediately suspicious and called police because of the amount of time the child had been dead.

The charges came last week after an autopsy report revealed the baby died from cocaine ingestion.

Anthony Lewis

In addition to second-degree murder, Bedford was also wanted on three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor because three other children, ages 2, 6 and 7, were in the room.

Lewis, 37, was arrested in a separate incident and is already in custody. He faces the same charges, plus illegal possession of a firearm. He is in jail on two bonds of $25,000 and $125,000. Police say he's been arrested for dealing drugs before.

The other three children are now in a family member’s custody and Department of Children and Family Services is involved.

Crown Inn operator Bob Patel says he can’t take responsibility for what happens inside the motel's rooms.

“What they do in the room I don’t know,” he said.