State review sheds more light on death of one infant

Infant died of brain injury caused by father

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comDecember 13, 2011 

Three-month-old Rylee Jean Campbell died in 2010 at University of Kentucky Hospital. Her father, Paul S. Farthing Jr., 30, was charged with murder in her death. This is a picture of a photo provided by Paul Farthing Sr. of Richmond.

GREG KOCHER | STAFF

Before Rylee Jean Campbell was born on Jan. 10, 2010, her mother already had given up her first child. Then there was a report to social workers that the mother, who had little prenatal care, tested positive for marijuana and other drugs when Rylee was born.

So began a life that ended in violence three months later.

Rylee died April 14 after suffering a brain injury. Her father, Paul S. Farthing Jr., 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the Madison County infant's death.

Rylee's death was one of 85 child deaths and near-deaths about which the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services released records on Monday.

The file on her case did not disclose her name, but dates and other information make clear that she was the victim described.

The cabinet investigated the report that Rylee's mother tested positive for drugs at the hospital, but it concluded the family did not need state supervision or services.

On April 11, child protection workers got a report that Rylee was back at the hospital, in critical condition. She reportedly had been shaken, according to the state file.

Farthing said he was bathing the baby and she had slipped out of his hands and her head hit the faucet, according to the report.

A test showed hemorrhaging in Rylee's brain. Her mother, who was not identified in the report, decided to take her off life support because she didn't want Rylee to be disabled, according to the review.

The mother admitted to social workers that she regularly smoked marijuana and that the baby's father had been a drug user.

The internal death review in the case said Rylee's father should have been assessed by social workers after the initial report of her mother having drugs in her system when the baby was born. The review also said perhaps both parents should have been screened for drug use.

Reach Valarie Honeycutt Spears at (859) 231-3409 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3409.

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