by Nancy Hedrick
I'm writing in regards to my daughter. Her name is Constance Marie Lynn Baugh. She is being charged with first degree murder of her new born infant which she delivered at my residence on January 31, 2001. It was a Tuesday my night off because I work third shifts. My daughter came home sick from work; she complained of a headache; she stated she had started her period due to the fact she didn't go to the clinic where she receives her Depo Provera shot; she was sick all that day and looked pale. I went to Walgreens [pharmacy] and got her 7up and Motrin; she was so sick I went to Granite City and picked up her daughter Angel.
Everybody went to bed around 10 pm. The next morning my son missed his school bus. I took him to school at 8 am. Before I left I told my daughter she needed to get up and give Angel a bath because the baby had feces on the back of her leg. When I walked in the door at 8:15 am I saw my daughter Constance in a fetal position on her knees she was in a lot of pain and said she was cramping; she couldn't even stand on her two feet; she crawled backwards to her bed.
When she moved I noticed a large amount of blood on the floor. I got really scared at that moment so I called the clinic where Constance got her Depo shots. Constance gave verbal consent to the nurse to talk to me about her medical records. I then explained to the nurse that Constance was very sick and losing a lot of blood. The nurse advised me to take her to the E.R. I sat Constance up and she looked like she was taking her last breath. She looked up at me and said, "Mom I love you." I truly thought at that moment she had died in my arms I was so scared that I had my husband call 911 where she was rushed to the hospital.
There were so many nurses working on her; I was praying I wasn't too late. A doctor told me my daughter is having a miscarriage. I signed many medical papers. Minutes later a doctor told me Constance had lost a lot of blood and she would need a blood transfusion. If she didn't receive the blood she would die within the hour. She needed emergency surgery. I consented and the staff left. I went to the coffee shop. A nurse came and got me and another nurse was waiting for me.
I thought my daughter had passed away. The nurse stated, "your daughter has had an infant within the last 24 hours. Do you have any idea where the baby could be? I just looked at her for a second and told her no way you people are lying. I don't believe you. A doctor came in and showed me a picture of an after birth. I was in shock; I went and spoke with Constance.
She denied having had a baby but if there was an infant I wanted to find the baby. I called my husband and asked him to look everywhere in the house. When I reached my house there were squad cars everywhere. A detective said he had found the baby in the closet. I asked if I could see the baby and was told "No" and as I stood there I noticed no one had called 911 for the baby; the detective said the baby was dead. I didn't know police could be doctors too; the detective stated in the homicide report he felt the baby and she felt cool. But just because they feel cool does not mean they're gone. E.M.T.S. should have been called at 11 pm.
I finally have my house back. Fairview Heights Police Department got not one, but two search warrants for my house. The next day I went to I.C.U. to see Constance. It was like she was 12 years old again. I cried my eyes out on Channel 2 News as they announced 19 year old rushed to hospital but where's the baby? They knew it was a girl before I did. I also stated to the nurse that I didn't want police seeing Constance yet and asked if they could wait a day. The nurse went against my wishes. She was in I.C.U. for three days and was transferred to the maternity floor.
She heard babies crying all night. A nursery rhyme played when an infant was born and made her cry. The next day she was transferred to a mental floor on suicide watch where a nurse nagged Constance asking her, "was it worth it" and "have you made funeral arrangements yet? "
I walked in with Constance's daughter Angel to visit her mother. Constance was crying her eyes out. The nurse said that Constance wasn't mourning enough and went on to tell me that Constance gave birth to a 7 pound baby.
I stated that her problem was she listened to the media too much. Constance was released from the mental floor 5 days later; she was critically ill and could hardly walk. Our family only was at the funeral due to the press. Darla Jean Baugh was buried February 9, 2001. Constance was very ill when she arrived home. Fairview Heights Police Department Detectives put her in a room knowing she was on strong medication and kept yelling at her you could have saved the baby over and over.
Constance gave 4 confessions. On February 20, 2001 she went to her daughter's grave and cried for three hours and then went to the police station. Then, 2 detectives came to the door and said they wanted Constance to take a polygraph which she did. At 10:00 am she was booked for first degree murder. At the County jail she was put on suicide watch and put in the infirmary.
Constance stated all she wants to do is die. She wakes up during the night looking for her baby; she can hear her baby crying. The staff at this time in the midst of my daughter going through the trauma she is already suffering has abused her twice and put her in the quiet room if she cries over her children or if she has a panic attack.
I don't believe there is any justice in a state's attorney deciding that my daughter has murdered her. Even at Darla's inquest the verdict was open. On March 22, 2001 Beth Gansmith, the reporter wrote HOMICIDE QUESTION IN DOUBT IN NEWBORN'S DEATH- Belleville-A coroner's jury ruled Wednesday that a Fairview Heights newborn died from asphyxia but that the mode of death should be left open on the death certificate instead of declaring it a homicide. Constance Baugh of 31 Wilshire Drive, Fairview Heights remains in St. Clair County Jail on charges she murdered her newborn daughter Darla Jean Baugh.
Fairview Heights Police Department Christopher Locke testified Baugh's stepfather called 911 about 9:31 am January 31, 2001. The man told police Baugh suffered a miscarriage and needed an ambulance. After an examination at Memorial Hospital in Belleville medical personnel determined Baugh had given birth and notified police. Locke said Fairview Police were allowed to search the home and discovered the full term newborn girl in the bottom closet under some linens.
"The child showed no signs of outward trauma" Locke said; a pathologist found the child had air in its lungs and ruled out the possibility the child was stillborn, according to testimony. Locke told jurors that Baugh gave birth to the girl in the bathroom of the family home. She wrapped the child in a comforter, placed it on her bed, and returned to clean the bathroom.
As she stood up, she lost a large amount of blood and blacked out. The family said they had no idea Baugh was pregnant. Baugh remains in St. Clair County Jail on 250,000 bail. The date now is set for July 2, 2001. Constance is supposed to be getting evaluated; the courts now are putting this court date some time in August.
The staff is putting Constance through hell. But in her mind she's done no wrong. I have no answers as to WHY. I just know my daughter is very ill. When I take Angel to see her mother I thank GOD she is alive; but if she's mentally ill abuse and being called baby killer is not the right kind of medical treatment she needs.
The state's attorney knows of her medical condition. Now I ask, "WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?" Constance now has fear of being raped or murdered by one guard.
As I'm finishing this story one thing comes to mind. My daughter is in jail with a mental illness. This can be cured but one wrong blow to her head could cause brain damage and that's for life. As long as Constance is in this jail she will always be in danger. I just hope and pray nothing happens to her as she is a single mother who right now is scared of her own shadow. She's only 19 and shakes like a 60 year old women.
I love my daughter. I am a very angry mother. I go see Constance first to make sure she has no bruises on her body before letting her daughter in to see her. There was one incident where I didn't take Angel due to the abuse done to her that very day. As a mother I will not shut up about MEDICAL NEGLECT and PRISON BRUTALITY.
Addendum to this story: As Editor-in-Chief of True Democracy, I asked Nancy Hedrick if she feels that Depo Provera was responsible for the death of the infant; here is her answer and more information:
"Yes, it is my contention that Depo Provera took the life of Darla. Depo would have taken Constance too if I hadn't been home that morning. "
I asked Nancy if she ever saw the infant even once. Here is her answer to that question:
"No I never got to see Darla. I asked Chris Locke the detective who found her at the bottom of the closet. In the homicide report he states the baby felt cool; the first person he called was his boss, not 911. I asked if I could see the baby and was declined, they stated coldly, 'the baby is dead.' A nurse knew she was pregnant;.
I find two people at fault for wrongful death to Darla Jean Baugh. The coroners had Darla so long and had cut her up that the day of her funeral we got a phone call from Kasslys stating her funeral had to be closed casket.
Constance requested a picture of Darla; they said that would not be a good idea.
Contact: "CDER DRUGINFO" <DRUGINFO@cder.fda.gov>
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Division of Drug Information
Addendum to this story: This information is through the Freedom of Information Act. The FDA provides a disk with a list of all the adverse events involving the drug in Depo-Provera. It's quite clear that the events include reports of spontaneous abortions, sudden and unexplained deaths, and depression. The drug is "Medroxyprogesterone Acetate."
Rockville, MD 20857 USA
Editor's note: Constance Baugh was sentenced to 14 years on February 14, 2002.