WJBF News Channel 6 has learned that the death of an infant in Emanuel County is under investigation.
On Tuesday, May 21st, the Oak Park Police Department and the Emanuel County Sheriff's Office was called to respond to a residence in southern Emanuel County in reference to the death of an infant child. Emanuel County First Responders and Emanuel County Emergency Medical Services were also called to the scene.
Upon arrival, officers were given information that Robert Michael Benton and Melissa Faye Fullmore, the mother of 4-month-old Rosalynn Fullmore, had awakened from a nap and found the baby unresponsive in her bassinette. Benton and Fullmore then called 911 for assistance.
The child was transported to Emanuel Medical Center by ambulance and pronounced dead by Emanuel County Coroner Jeffery Peebles.
Investigators from the Emanuel County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene to investigate the death. The investigation revealed that both Benton and Fullmore had ingested methamphetamine the previous night and had fallen asleep at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Benton and Fullmore awoke sometime after 2:00 p.m. and found the child unresponsive.
While searching the residence, investigators found quantities of suspected marijuana and methamphetamine, and evidence that the drugs were being used in the residence. A handgun was also located in the residence.
According to Emanuel County Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens, both Benton and Fullmore are currently being held without bond in the Emanuel County Jail. Both have been charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Benton and Fullmore have previously been convicted of felony crimes, including possession and distribution of methamphetamine.
Sheriff Stephens continued by saying “Chief Investigator Rocky Davis and GBI Special Agent Josh Alford are working with the GBI Medical Examiner and Coroner Peebles and are awaiting autopsy results. All agencies involved are working closely together and are sharing all information immediately with the District Attorney's Office.”
According to Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Hayward Altman, charges related to the death of the infant may be forthcoming, pending autopsy results.
The East Central Georgia Drug Task Force is also assisting with the investigation. Anyone with information related to or helpful to this investigation is asked to call the Emanuel County Sheriff's Office at (478) 237-7526 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (478) 364-6988.