Deputies find newborn in floorboard of van crawling with ants, wearing a soiled diaper

Rebecca Jean Fultz and Charolette Simpson
Rebecca Jean Fultz and Charolette Simpson

A mother and grandmother were being arrested in Laurel County when sheriff’s deputies found a 16-day-old newborn in the floorboard of the van they were driving.

The baby “had labored breathing, with ants crawling on it, a soiled diaper,” and there was no air conditioning in the van, according to the Laurel County sheriff’s office.

According to a news release, a sergeant with the sheriff’s office tried to stop a Chrysler Town & Country about two miles north of London at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The van kept going for about a quarter of a mile before stopping in a driveway.

Deputies learned that the two women in the vehicle, driver Charolette J. Simpson, 69, of London, and passenger Rebecca Jean Fultz, 32, of Livingston, had outstanding bench warrants, and deputies then initiated an arrest.

Fultz refused to get out of the vehicle and had to be removed, according to a news release.

“As deputies continued their investigation, one of the occupants advised there was a baby inside the vehicle, however deputies did not immediately locate the baby because it was not in a child safety seat that was mounted in the vehicle,” according to the release.

The baby was instead found “on the floorboard between the two front seats with its head facing toward the center console,” the release stated.

Deputies said there was “trash and debris all over the vehicle, including a flat screen TV which could have easily been thrown about in the vehicle during a sudden stop.”

Deputy Joey Robinson, a former paramedic, “drove the ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital London so both attendants could work on the infant on the way to the hospital,” the release stated.

The baby was in improved condition after being treated for dehydration, according to the news release. Social services was called to place the infant after release from the hospital.

Both Simpson, the baby’s grandmother, and Fultz, the mother, were charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12, failure to use a child restraint device and other charges in connection with the traffic stop.

They were being held in the Laurel County Correctional Center.