BRPD: Teen wanted in feticide after cocaine use

A Baton Rouge teenager who gave birth to a stillborn baby on Sept. 18, then told police she had snorted cocaine a few days earlier when the baby’s father broke up with her is wanted by police for feticide.

Baton Rouge police issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Princess Beachem, 17, 2547 Iberia St., Baton Rouge, on one count of second-degree feticide.

If convicted, Beachem faces up to 10 years in prison.

Attempts to contact Beachem or her family Wednesday were unsuccessful.

On Sept. 18, East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services took Beachem, who was seven months pregnant, to Women’s Hospital after she complained of stomach pains, according to the warrant for her arrest.

During an examination, doctors could not hear the baby’s heartbeat and performed an emergency cesarean section, the warrant said .

“A male fetus was delivered without a heartbeat,” Detective S. Harris, a homicide detective, wrote in the warrant.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office called police and when homicide detectives questioned Beachem while she was in intensive care, she admitted to buying and snorting powdered cocaine on Sept. 13, according to the warrant.

Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said he ruled the death a homicide because the fetus died from what he termed “placental feticide.”

“By ingesting cocaine when pregnant, it can cause the blood vessels to constrict and the placenta to abrupt or detach from the uterine wall. Once that happens, the nutrient supply from the mother that goes to the fetus is no longer attached and the fetus cannot survive.”

An autopsy of the fetus showed no signs of developmental problems, meaning the baby had developed normally, Clark said.

Toxicology test results showed the fetus tested positive for cocaine, the warrant says.

Clark said he saw this type of death a few times as an emergency room doctor, but this is the first time he has seen it as the coroner.