SIKESTON - A Sikeston woman has been arrested on murder and assault charges in connection with the death of her 11-month old daughter.
According to Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden, Samantha Jeanann Lewis, 23, was arrested for the murder of her daughter, Alexia Lewis, who was pronounced dead on Feb. 10, 2002, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Lewis and her husband had taken the baby to the hospital, complaining that the child was not breathing. According to reports taken at that time, the mother said she found the child, who was in her bed, was not breathing. Lewis ran two blocks to call the father at work, to ask him to come home and take them to the emergency room. Scott County Coroner Scott Amick said the autopsy revealed an undetermined cause of death.
Wednesday DPS detectives were called to MDMC where another of Mrs. Lewis' children, 2-month-old Katyra Lewis, was taken due to head trauma. During the course of this investigation facts presented were not consistent with the injuries to Katyra's condition which led to questioning the mother.
During the course of questioning, an admission from Lewis led to her arrest in this incident as well as the death of the older child.
Mrs. Lewis admitted to suffocating Alexia because she could not get her to stop crying. She also admitted to swinging Katyra by the ankles and striking her head on a bassinet Monday which led to Wednesday's trip to the hospital.
In addition to these charges, the children's mother is charged with an incident on June 1, 2000. Lewis allegedly struck a 3-year-old child, resulting in a broken pelvis.
Assistant Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd charged the mother with first degree murder and two counts of first degree assault. Associate Circuit Court Judge David Mann signed the warrants and ordered the suspect to be held without bond. Lewis is currently being held in at the DPS facility, awaiting transfer to the Scott County Jail. Three remaining children have been removed from the home pending further investigation into the incidents.
Juden said the success of this investigation is credited to the teamwork and persistence displayed by all the agencies involved which include the Scott County Division of Family Services, Scott County Juvenile Office, Scott County Coroner's Office and DPS detectives.