INDIANAPOLIS - A mother whose infant son was found starved to death and living in filth on Indianapolis' southeast side, police said, was formally charged with murder Wednesday.
Bambi Glazebrook, 29, entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on charges of murder and neglect of a dependent causing death. She was appointed a public defender.
Officers were called to Glazebrook's home in the 1200 block of Earhart St., near Prospect Street and Sherman Drive, just before 3 p.m. Thursday on a report of an infant not breathing.
Three-month-old Phillip Robey was taken to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the probable cause affidavit released Tuesday, the conditions inside the home were "deplorable and unfit for human habitation," and the infant had been sleeping in a drawer in the entertainment center in the living room.
Glazebrook told police that her son had been fine most of the day, but became fussy around 2 p.m., so she put him back in the drawer.
When she went to check on him an hour later, she said she noticed his eyes were open and he had soiled his diaper. She said he felt stiff and wasn't breathing.
Glazebrook told police she woke up her father, who told her to call 911.
But police disputed Glazebrook's story, citing doctors who determined that the infant had likely been dead for several hours before police were called.
The boy was "grossly underweight and malnourished," weighing only 5 pounds 8 ounces, according to the affidavit.
"The victim was photographed and was mere skin and bones. His eyes were open and protruding from his head," according to the affidavit.
The cause of death was ruled extreme failure to thrive or starvation, said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson.
"With the murder charge, we have to show there is a knowing act. It doesn't have to be intentional. It has to be knowing," she said. "What we're alleging is that anyone would know, if you don't feed a child, and the child appears the way this child appeared, anyone would know that death would be the logical outcome."
A 2-year-old child living in the home also "exhibited signs of failure to thrive based on failure to properly care for and feed the child," according to the affidavit.
Glazebrook's three oldest children had already been removed from the home by Child Protective Services, police said.
Family members told RTV6 last week that they were worried about the infant's health.
"Honestly in my heart I don't want to believe (she did) it, but, something tells me she did," said Glazebrook's cousin Christine Robertson.
"I tried to tell Bambi if she didn't take him to the hospital he was going to die," said Martha Robertson, another cousin. "I know that Bambi wasn't feeding him properly. I never saw her take any formula or anything into the house."
Robinson said more charges could be filed in the case.
"With respect to the father, the grandfather, other people in the house, that is still a part of a pending investigation. That's something that is being looked at," she said. "I can't comment whether there will be charges or not, but there is an investigation."
Neighbors were shocked by the allegations.
"It had to be something wrong with the mother's mind to consider putting a baby in a drawer in order to sleep, rest or whatever," said Polina Turner.
"Honestly, I'd have to kill someone for doing that to my kids. My kids mean everything to me," said Ashley Albertson. "I don't see how her kids couldn't mean everything to her and she couldn't take care of that baby."
Glazebrook's next court appearance was set for January.