Couple arrested on suspicion of murder after their second baby dies in a strikingly similar way

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A couple is behind bars following the death of their 18-day-old baby. And that tiny victim isn't the first infant to die in the couple's care. 

Gage and Deborah Roberts, both 22, are a married couple from the Midwest. They're each facing charges of second-degree murder and child cruelty. Detectives were suspicious of the pair after learning they had another baby die in a nearly identical way. 

April 24 2016, officers walked into a room at the Downtowner Hotel and found an unconscious infant on the floor-where a hotel maid was performing CPR. 

"I remember waking up, realizing that he was gone, and I tried CPR-that didn't work, and I realized that wasn't going to work, so I kind of freaked out a little bit, so I took a shower", says the baby's father, Gage Roberts. 

Roberts says he tried to revive his baby by splashing hot water on him. When that didn't work, he says he took a shower because he was in shock-something detectives took note of according to reports. 

Roberts say he and his wife Deborah were both in the hotel room with their 18-day-old baby boy named Crimson, when the child passed. Roberts says as he realized baby Crimson was dead, he had a haunting thought: "Oh my god, not again..."

Roberts says he and his wife had another baby boy die in a similar way less than a year before in Kansas. He says that baby, named Camden, was six months old when he died unexpectedly. Roberts says the coroner told him the baby's cause of death was SIDS.

Roberts says not long after their first child's death, he and his then pregnant wife moved to Bakersfield and stayed in the downtown hotel. 

17 News asked Roberts if he killed both of his children. He responded: "No. If I had then I would've disappeared."

According to reports, detectives felt physical evidence didn't line up with Roberts' story about sleeping with the infant and waking up to him not breathing. During an interview with his wife Deborah, she told police she felt her husband was responsible for the deaths of both babies and admitted she didn't do anything to protect them. Roberts says his wife only said that because "when there's a lot of pressure on one person, the first thing they're gonna do is deflect it in any way possible." 

Roberts says just hours after his wife gave birth to a third baby boy, the pair was arrested. 

"How does it feel to be accused of murdering your two children?", 17 News asked Roberts. "Horrible. Horrible. It makes me want to hurt them, but then again that's just gonna make me look worse", replied Roberts. 

We asked again-"so you absolutely in no way harmed either or your babies?"

"No, if I did it wasn't intentional", responded Roberts. 

Deborah and Gage Roberts are scheduled to be formally charged in court Tuesday. Meanwhile, Bakersfield Police say they're working with Kansas detectives-who are investigating the death of the couple's first child. 

 

 


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