In Texas, a 20-year-old mother who beat her two-year-old son to death and buried his body in a shallow grave has given birth to another baby while in police custody.
In 2014, Meagan Work alleged that her son, Colton Brandt Turner, had been kidnapped; however, later police found his body in south Austin. Now Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) have Work’s newborn son in state custody and according to the Daily Mail, the child’s father is believed to be Michael Brandt Turner, who was also charged in the death of Colton.
Tragically, in July 2014, a witness told police that he saw Work slam Colton’s head against a truck and shake him repeatedly. After Colton’s death, it emerged that family members had shared photos of his injured body on Facebook and reported abuse to Texas CPS when he was only six-months-old. Although two of the complaints had been resolved, two were ongoing because Work was homeless.
Work’s great aunt, Raquel Helfrish, was one of the relatives that originally contacted CPS and was outraged by the news of Colton’s death. She said, “When I found out it only took the police two days to locate Colton once they were notified, I didn’t understand why it took CPS all these months.”
Previously, Work had pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and assault charges but is also being charged with injury to a child and injury to a child by omission. In October 2014, Commander Mark Spangler with the Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit of Austin Police Department, said, “All of these charges are first degree felonies, the injury to a child and a murder charge is the same degree. If at any time we develop information that could lead to an additional charge of murder, that could be done through the grand jury process.”
Currently, the Texas Legislature is considering Colton’s Law, which would make it easier for law enforcement to find people who are running from CPS during investigations, as Work was before Colton’s death.
On the family’s Facebook page, they describe the law like this: “Colton’s Law would mandate state law enforcement to step in to search in cases where the child cannot be located and is in danger.” Milam Country Sheriff David Greene, who was involved in the case, said, “I have no doubt if that law had been in effect, this law, the boy would probably be alive now.”
A family friend and Helfrish issued a statement about Work’s new baby. They said, “In order to protect this child from undue duress surrounding this tragedy, we decline all requests for comment. Please understand that Colton’s Law will save and protect thousands of children per year in Texas from suffering the same fate as Colton.’”