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Police re-examining prior infant death in couple's home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Logan County couple is facing neglect charges in the death of their infant son but authorities now are taking a closer look into the death of another of their children.

Timothy Marcum, 25, and Bessie Marcum, 21, both of Dingess were taken into custody Wednesday night and charged with child neglect resulting in death. The couple called 911 Tuesday after discovering their one month old son Alexander unresponsive.

The infant was not breathing and was unconscious when paramedics arrived. Alexander was pronounced dead upon arrival at Logan Regional Medical Center, according to complaints filed at Logan Magistrate Court.

"The child was smothered to death while they were sleeping," said Sgt. L.J. McClung of the Logan State Police detachment. "There were some contributing factors."

Bessie Marcum told Trooper R.E. Stowers she let her husband take care of the child knowing that he'd taken prescription drugs. Timothy then fell asleep, holding the boy in his arms.

Alexander slid down his father's body and got wedged between the man's arm and stomach, the complaint said. This restricted the baby's breathing and caused the infant to die.

"He admitted to taking a couple different kinds of pills," among them Neurontin, which is used to treat pain in the nerves, McClung said of Timothy Marcum. "She admitted to taking a Neurontin."

McClung said the couple lived in the home with the infant Alexander and two-year-old Kayden. Child Protective Services removed Kayden from the home, the trooper said.

Another of the couple's children died in 2010. Timothy Marcum Jr. was four months old when he died. McClung did not know what caused that child to die.

She said the Logan Sheriff's Office had been investigating that incident.

Logan Sheriff Sonya Porter said the evidence from the investigation into Timothy Jr.'s death has been retrieved and turned over to the county prosecutor's office. She said it was her understanding that some of that information had been turned over to the State Police. 

"We're providing as much information as we can on this," Porter said. Timothy Marcum remained at Southwestern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond. Bessie Marcum was free on bond.



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