Investigators say shaken baby syndrome could be one of the many options their weighing in the death of a four-month-baby boy.
Markeya Atkins left her son, Gabriel McFarland in the care of his 17-year-old father, Drew Weehler-Smith Tuesday evening.
But when the 16-year-old mom returned home, she found the baby alone and unresponsive.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
While we wait for autopsy results, we’re learning more about the baby’s biological parents.
Weehler-Smith’s mother fought back tears while telling Channel 13 she’s not sure what will happen next.
She declined to do an interview on camera but said her son is a junior at Roosevelt High School. She says he has never had a run in with the law but is now in custody.
“Additional charges are possible but that will depend on what the medical examiner determined in the autopsy about cause of death and how things happened,” Des Moines police Sergeant Jason Halifax says.
Wheeler-Smith is charged with neglect of a dependent person.
The baby’s mother is not charged with any crime in connection with this case. But Channel 13 has learnt she has been arrested by Des Moines police at least once.
She was accused of prank dialing 911 while babysitting a friend’s two-year old in the Oakridge neighborhood in February of 2013.
The police report shows she lied to officers about her name telling them she was Keesha Smith. She eventually came clean and gave police her real name.
But perhaps most disturbing, medics noticed a bag of K-2 on the kitchen table within the two-year-old’s reach.
Police say Atkins was never charged with possession of synthetic marijuana because testing showed there was no controlled substance in the K-2.
The baby’s father has no arrest record.
Autopsy results could be released sometime next week.