Woman Arrested in Sheridan Baby Malnutrition Death

SHERIDAN, Ark. - A woman has been arrested after a baby boy dies from malnutrition.

That's according to the Sheridan Police Department, which identifies the suspect as Akela Bowman, (a.k.a. Akela Shylo Gosa), 25.

She faces a charge of 1st Degree Murder.

Police say Bowman was arrested Thursday and later released on bond.

The 4-month old died in January. 

Investigators say evidence gathered indicates Bowman intended for her baby to die. 

Bowman insisted Friday (3/31) however, that she did not try to kill her baby and that through all this she's lost her three other toddlers who lived with her and were healthy but are now in DHS custody.

Bowman and her family insisted to KARK's Josh Berry, the four-month-old, prematurely born baby was fed. 

According to court records Bowman told investigators she fed the child every 3-4 hours and the baby would eat between 4-6 ounces.

They thought she should have had more help or guidance from health officials in caring for her child after bringing him home from the hospital after a two month stay.

Investigators have had this case since January and say evidence makes it clear there was intent to kill the baby, hence the murder charge.

Investigator Mike Thomas said, "The more that it was investigated the more it became clear that there were some circumstances involved that just didn't add up."

We're told the charges are partially based on findings of the medical examiner. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, a State Crime Lab Medical Examiner told investigators the infant's intestines were shrunken from not having enough coming through its body. It also says when the baby was discharged from a NICU unit it weighed 6 lbs 3 oz but weighed 5 lbs 11oz at the time of death. An autopsy revealed the baby had no food in its stomach. 

The official findings from the Medical Examiner ruled the baby's death as malnutrition due to petiatric neglect.

They also say there are other elements to their investigation that have not been completed. 

Bond was set at $25,000 but Bowman posted it the same day.

Bowman has her next court date in May.

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