Guntown baby fortunate to be alive

Nina Gebhart

Unimaginable. Investigators said things like “the photos ( 7A) don’t do it justice,” “the stench was unreal” and plus law enforcement had to “clear” every inch of the trailer in case, some druggie was hiding amongst the squaller.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department could not comment on the specifics about narcotics but the home, located at 331 CR 417 in Guntown, had been on their radar on many occasions that were drug related.

Deputies, on Nov. 4, 2020, with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to this habitat to do a welfare check regarding a possible newborn baby that appeared to be in need of medical attention.

“We received a call of a welfare concern. This was the same structure which came into play several months back when we did a press release about that faked kidnapping,” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said. “That was David Fisher, Jr. and this is same David Fisher who was the father of the child.”

Fisher was well known by law enforcement and the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit. The supposed kidnapping victim, Andrew Blake Hawks, was being held for ransom, but the reality was Hawks owed Fisher for some drugs.

At that time, mid-August 2020, Hawks, 24, was charged with extortion and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, with a bond of $150,000. Fisher, 36, was charged with extortion, with a bond of $100,000.

So when this new “welfare concern” call came in, law enforcement knew anything was possible.

“Once we received this welfare concern, our deputies responded, made contact with these two individuals, Fisher and Nina Gebhart (the mother) and at that time, they both claimed she was still pregnant, had not delivered a child and with the conditions of this home — it was very difficult to search and look to see if there was a child inside,” Johnson said. “We did not hear one. A quick search was done of the residence, no child was found and so there was no reason for us to believe what they were telling us was not true.”

Investigator Rachel Chambers is assigned to cases that involve violence against women and children and also handles the sex offender registration. Neither she, the sheriff or other investigators were satisfied with the first visit.

“We went back the next morning early, with Investigator Chambers, and deputies to search the residence again. We were still concerned a child was there,” Johnson said. “We later learned the child was not there, the child had been born in this home, but had been taken out and hidden at another location. “Late Thursday night, about 10 p.m., the deputies got information the child was back home, they quickly went back and were able to find the child.”

The infant child appeared to be in need of immediate medical attention. Medics were called to the scene and transported the baby to NMMC where the child began receiving medical care.

“The child was actually born — without any medical attention, in the conditions you see here,” the frustrated sheriff said. “We do believe drugs were involved during the pregnancy of this particular child as well after the child was born. Our thoughts and prayers are with this child, who was born in this nasty, deplorable environment.”

Fisher and Gebhart were both immediately taken into custody and held for investigation at the Lee County Jail. The investigation quickly revealed that the child was, in fact, born on Nov. 2. During the investigation, it was determined the desperate medical condition of the child combined with the deplorable living situation — both would be charged criminally, and those charges are as follows:

David Fisher Jr. was charged with Felony Child Abuse and Deprivation of Necessities with Harm. He was given a bond of $500,000 on each charge, totaling $1,000,000. Fisher has an extensive criminal history and was out on felony bond at the time of this arrest.

Nina Gebhart, also of 331 CR 417 in Guntown, was charged with Felony Child Abuse and Deprivation of Necessities with Harm. She was given a bond of $500,000 on each charge, totaling $1,000,000. Gebhart also has a prior criminal history involving narcotics.

The Courier was able to speak to Johnson just before press time, and he was able to give some good news. “The child is doing good. The court has gotten involved and we’re hopeful the child will placed in a good, stable home soon,” Johnson said.

The sheriff’s department is in the process of being able to process the trailer, and hopefully seize it.

Taking over a structure which is known for narcotics is not an easy process. Any porous furniture or materials need to be thrown out before the cleaning process starts, including couches, carpets and most electronics. The team usually breaks the furniture they remove from the house to prevent anyone from stealing the contaminated items from their dumpster truck. The waste is taken to the dump as hazardous material where it is quickly buried in authorized areas. Since most drugs, including methamphetamine, are a powder they are very hard to get rid of.

“Once it’s disrupted, it floats through the air and gets into stuff,” a professional drug house clearer told the Courier.

After tossing the carpet and furniture, his team divides the cleaning process into dry and wet procedures. First, they thoroughly vacuum the floors and the air ducts. For the wet process, they run chemicals inside the ducts and scrub all the walls and ceilings three times. The chemicals need to sit for four to six hours to neutralize the meth. They also scrub any hard surfaces and most appliances.

Hopefully, in this case, the trailer will just be destroyed.

If you have additional information about this case, please call (662) 841-9040.

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