LAKELAND -- The Lakeland Police Department is investigating the death of a three-week old infant.
According to police, a couple from Tennyson, Ind., was visiting Lakeland Dec. 23 and went to a Golden Corral on U.S. Highway 98 North. While at the restaurant, the couple called authorities after they say they noticed their 22-day-old infant had unusually cold feet and was unresponsive in her car seat.
The Lakeland Fire Department and Polk County Fire Rescue responded and the baby girl was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The infant was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death for Betsey Kee Stephens as a homicide. Preliminary investigation indicates the infant was dead for at least 3-and-a-half hours prior to the mother calling 911. Officials have not released information regarding the death.
The parents have not been charged at this time.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are working with the State Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office."At this time we are not going to say the manner of death,” said Lakeland Police Sgt. Gary Gross. “We just can't because the case is still being actively worked right now."
The couple's other two children, a 1-year old male and 2-year old female were placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. There are in good health, police said.
Officials said no other information would be released during the investigation.
"Because we want to make sure all the I's are dotted and T’s are crossed. There is a lot to do. This case...the circumstances are a little unusual," Gross said.