Inset: Angel Taylor (left), Chevy Lafountain (right)/St. John Parrish Sheriff’s Office)/Background: FOX8Live WVUE
Inside a squalid Louisiana trailer, police say drug-addled parents Angel Taylor and Chevy Lafountain starved their 4-month-old baby girl to death while also neglecting their 1-year-old son so severely, it mystified a local sheriff as to how the toddler managed to survive.
Taylor, 24, and Lafountain, 31, were arrested on Aug. 1 and charged with second-degree murder, neglect, and child abuse.
Taylor, according to the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, called police because her daughter was not breathing. When deputies arrived at the couple’s home, they found the infant lifeless on a bed inside.
Taylor allegedly told police she had her daughter down to sleep for the last hour, but upon closer investigation, authorities had their doubts about the young mother’s story.
“How long that baby was actually deceased, I couldn’t tell you. The child had been severely malnourished, who knows the last time that baby had a meal,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said at a press conference this week, FOX8Live reported.
An autopsy report showed the infant suffered from malnutrition, dehydration and starvation.
Taylor and Lafountain’s 13-month-old son also lived in the home. Like his now-deceased sister, Tregre said the boy had been severely neglected. As he spoke to reporters on Tuesday, Tregre’s shock was palpable.
“Somehow, the boy found a way to eat and managed to survive,” he said.
Taylor and Lafountain were charged with second-degree murder but they also each face a felony charge of cruelty to juveniles with force/violence and a misdemeanor charge of child desertion.
The trailer where the couple lived was a ghastly scene, according to the sheriff’s office, with signs of neglect piled up in front of the home where children’s toys were strewn about and mixed in with garbage and junk.
“I’ve seen wild animals take better care of their babies,” Tregre remarked after the couple was booked.
The horrors that befell the children were the result of a deadly combination of “drug abuse, poor parenting and neglect to the highest level,” he added, noting that neither of the parents had expressed remorse and admitted to using drugs.
“Both admitted that they treated the children poorly and [Chevy Lafountain] blamed everyone but himself,” Tregre said.
Lafountain blamed the dealers who sold him his drugs, Tregre said, and the mother chalked up her neglect to not knowing she was passing out for hours at a time.
The couple’s son is now in the custody of child protective services.
“You know, you’ve got people in this world that would love to have a baby that can’t have children. A stranger would have taken this child. Just to see a child deteriorate this way? It’s hard,” Tregre said.
A recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that in 2020, more than 4 million children were involved in maltreatment investigations.
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