Parents of newborn charged after infant found dead

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — The parents of a newborn have been charged with neglect in connection with the infant’s July death, South Carolina authorities said.

Melissa Bautch, 21, of Sumter, called police on July 31, saying she had delivered a baby a few months prematurely about two days earlier, Sumter police said in a news release Friday. The infant was unresponsive at the time of birth, she claimed.

But an autopsy report found that the birth was full-term and the infant was alive “for some time without receiving aid,” police said.

Authorities said the child’s father, Brandon Hostetler, 21, was not at home when the infant was born but returned after Bautch told him what happened.

Neither parent sought medical attention for the baby after its birth, nor did they seek help, police said. Further details were not immediately available.

Bautch faces a charge of homicide by child neglect, while Hostetler is charged with unlawful neglect. They were booked Thursday at a local detention center. It’s unknown if either has an attorney who could comment.