Topeka baby at center of California case born with meth in his system

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka infant who died in 2015 was born with meth in his system.

Documents uncovered by KSNT News revealed the information.

As previously reported, Gage and Debra Roberts – formerly of Topeka, were arrested in Bakersfield, California last month in connection with the deaths of their two infant sons. 6-month-old Camden Roberts died in Topeka in November 2015. His 18-day-old brother died in a California motel room just five months later.

The child’s death was ruled a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by the Shawnee County Coroner.

Neighbors who knew the couple during their stay in the capital city, allege Gage Roberts was abusive toward Camden. Several reports describe a scene in which Roberts would hold the infants head against his chest in order to quiet him.

Family friend Olivia Miller told KSNT News, “the people who got those calls and decided to ignore those calls…Camden’s death is on them.”

A Kansas Department of Children and Families representative visited the couple in 2015. Police reports indicate Gage Roberts didn’t answer the door because the family was already working with the Drug Endangered Child Program – monitored by the court.

When asked why the Roberts’ were allowed to leave St. Francis hospital with a drug positive baby, local family services attorney, Allison Hibler said, “There can be instances where a child is born with drugs in their system and it goes undetected…or the mother has been receiving counseling and her levels are now low enough and she has stopped using or reduced the amount she’s using.”

There is no indication that Debra Roberts received any type of counseling before giving birth to Camden.

A request for comment from the hospital was not yet answered at the time of this publication.

Detectives in both Topeka and Bakersfield are actively monitoring the case.

The couple were arrested in July 2017, one day after the birth of their third son. They remain jailed on the west coast. Their youngest son has been placed in protective custody.

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