Evanston Couple Charged With Manslaughter In Baby's Mysterious Death

An Evanston couple were arrested Tuesday and charged with manslaughter in the mysterious death of their 9-month-old baby in October. The baby had a severe, extensive rash and bruising and the family was reportedly living in filth. 

Clair McFarland

March 28, 20245 min read

Tevin Medina and Bailey Bettinson
Tevin Medina and Bailey Bettinson (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An Evanston couple are now facing manslaughter charges in their infant daughter’s October 2023 death.

Bailey Bettinson, who turns 23 this year, and Tevin Medina, who turns 31 this year, each face one manslaughter charge and one count of felony child abuse in Evanston Circuit Court.

With a 20-year maximum sentence possible for manslaughter and another 10 years possible for child abuse, each parent could face up to 30 years in prison.

Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson-Kallas charged them both Monday, one day before their arrest.

In The Night Air

The investigation started at 4:37 a.m. Oct. 20 when Evanston Police Detective Scott Faddis responded to a home on Feather Way, for a report of a 9-month-old baby who was unresponsive.

Court documents identify the baby girl as R.M.

Faddis arrived to find Bettinson, the baby’s mother, performing CPR on her lifeless body in the cool October air, says an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.

The girl’s father, Medina, would later reportedly tell police they took her outside for CPR so her older sister, age 3, would not have to see her unresponsive.

Faddis found the baby’s body was cold to the touch and contracting into rigor mortis, the affidavit says.

Dad Found

When interviewed by police, Medina said he was the one who found the baby unresponsive early that morning. She was lying on her side with a blanket over her head in her upstairs bedroom, Medina reportedly said.

The document says Medina ran downstairs and told R.M’s mother that the baby was dead, and the mother needed to go upstairs and perform CPR on the baby.

Not Sure If Diaper Rash

An ambulance took the girl to the Evanston Regional Hospital, where medical staff pronounced her dead.

Medical personnel identified an extensive rash around the girl’s vaginal, buttocks and leg area as diaper rash. The rash was so extensive it was permeating her flesh as well as her skin, the affidavit relates.

The document says staffers also found “unexplained bruising” near her genital area.

When he conducted an autopsy three days later, Fremont County forensic pathologist Dr. Randall Frost could not determine the cause of death, but could not rule out asphyxia, the affidavit relates from his report.

The abrasions on the baby’s vaginal area could have been diaper rash, or they could have been pressure abrasions, the document says.

Pressure abrasions result from prolonged compression of the epidermis, researchers report in the National Library of Medicine.

Frost recommended further investigation of the death scene.

Filth, Feces, Mold

Authorities had investigated the death scene the day they found the baby unresponsive, the affidavit says.

The parents said they put the girl in bed the evening before, Oct. 19, 2023.

Then the parents went to sleep downstairs, leaving the baby in the apartment upstairs.

When authorities looked through the apartment, they allegedly found the floors and walls covered with animal feces and urine.

The carpet was filthy. A child’s soiled diaper sat, feces-side-up, on a pile of trash, says the affidavit.

The document says that in the children’s bedroom a pointed steak knife sat on the floor next to dried vomit.

A hunting knife with no sheath was exposed on top of the clothes drier; the freezer and refrigerator contained food but were filthy, the document says.

The oven was caked with filth and burnt food. Meat in the microwave oven appeared to be spoiled. Medina’s affidavit says the home had mold in it.

Every room in the residence reportedly was strewn with clutter.

The stench was so bad, detectives had to take breathing breaks outside, the affidavit says.


The Department of Family Services took the couple’s 3-year-old daughter into protective custody.

The document says DFS was already involved in the family’s life before the infant daughter’s birth and before her death.

DFS visited with the two children Sept. 27, 2023, about three weeks before the baby’s death, says the affidavit. The home then also was reportedly cluttered with garbage, animal waste, dirty dishes and clothing.

The children were removed from the home at that time and not allowed back in until it was clean and safe, says the affidavit.

The affidavit does not say by what efforts the children were later allowed to go back home in the days leading up to R.M.’s death. DFS does not discuss case details with the media.

Some Prior Checks

Prior to that, on Sept. 1, 2023, a police officer went to the home to help the apartment manager with an inspection. The manager was worried about bad living conditions for the children, the affidavit says.

And one year earlier, before R.M. was born, DFS staff worked cases regarding the unsafe living conditions of the home.

After Her Death

A neighbor interviewed by police four days after the baby’s death said she’d been worried about the filthy conditions of the home, the document says.

The 3-year-old would run around the apartment complex in only a diaper, her body covered in filth, the neighbor reportedly said, adding that these conditions were worsened when Bettinson’s boyfriend moved in.

The neighbor said she could see and smell the filth from the sidewalk, the document relates.

Two months after R.M.’s death, Evanston Animal Control was dispatched to the defendant’s home regarding the unsafe living conditions for the cats and dogs there.

Bettinson and Medina’s cases are ongoing.

Clarification - An earlier version of this story called Dr. Randall Frost a medical examiner when he is a forensic pathologist.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter