Couple charged after accidental death of newborn baby

Local News

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Grampian couple has been charged with the accidental death of their infant daughter while under the influence of drugs.

22-year-old Alexa Kephart, her boyfriend 23-year-old Dakota Canfield along with their 39-day-old daughter and her 22-month-old brother had been reportedly staying at a residence in Penn Township for three weeks.

On the morning of July 1, Kephart and Canfield were reportedly sleeping in bed with the infant at the time of the incident. According to a criminal complaint, Kephart had tended to her baby between 4:30 and 5 a.m. when she had fed and changed her diaper. Afterward, both Kephart and the infant went back to sleep in the bed.

Upon waking up at 10:14 a.m., the couple reportedly found their baby daughter laying against Kephart on her left side facing her and covered with a blanket. They then noticed her unconscious and blue in color.

Kephard then reportedly carried the infant to the living room and called 911. The couple laid the infant on the floor and performed CPR until EMS personnel arrived. Upon arrival, EMS transported the baby to Penn Highlands DuBois Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Clearfield state police later interviewed Kephart and Canfield where they discovered that the couple allegedly had an open case with Clearfield County Children, Youth and Family Services. The case had been reportedly opened at the time of the infant’s birth when Kephart tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamines.

The couple was then subjected to drug screenings. Kephart reportedly tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamines, marijuana and ecstasy. Canfield also reported to having tested positive for the same substances as well as alcohol in his system.

An autopsy conducted on the infant at Penn Highlands Huntingdon ruled that her death was caused by Overlay and was accidental. Overlying is the act of accidentally smothering a child to death by rolling over them in sleep.

Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for both Kephart and Canfield. Both have been charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children and a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person. Kephart faces an additional felony 2 charge of involuntary manslaughter.

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