Fort Worth

Baby Born in Ellis County Jail Dies

Shaye Marie Bear admitted to using drugs while she was pregnant

A baby born in the Ellis County Jail died two weeks later at a Fort Worth hospital, officials say.

According to the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Shaye Marie Bear was pregnant when she was arrested and booked into the Ellis County jail for possession of a controlled substance on March 10.

Bear had hidden some of the substance in her vagina.

On May 17, Bear gave birth to a premature infant in the Ellis County Jail, according to the sheriff's office. Officials proceeded to transport Bear and the baby to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center for treatment. The infant was ultimately flown to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth for specialized care.

Medical staff at Cook Children's pronounced the infant dead on May 26. The cause of death will be released after the autopsy is complete.

According to the sheriff's office, Shaye Marie Bear received regular prenatal care while she was in jail, but she consistently refused some treatments that were available to her.

During a hearing early on the same day she gave birth, Bear told a judge in district court that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant. She also admitted to once giving birth to a child in the Dallas County jail while incarcerated on a felony drug charge, according to the Ellis County Sheriff's Office.

Bear told the judge she knew she was pregnant at the time she hid the substance in her vagina, and that she had not received any prenatal care before her arrest.

The sheriff's office said witnesses they interviewed told them Bear "routinely displayed antipathy toward her unborn child, and her conduct was noted by many as being detrimental to the life of" the baby.

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