Broward County

Dad, grandmother arrested in case of baby’s near drowning in Miramar

Grace Ann Brooks, the grandmother of Cayden Armour, whose mother tried to drown him in a Miramar lake in July, was arrested and charged with failing to report child abuse and child neglect.
Grace Ann Brooks, the grandmother of Cayden Armour, whose mother tried to drown him in a Miramar lake in July, was arrested and charged with failing to report child abuse and child neglect. Broward Sheriff’s Office

Nearly three months after a mother attempted to drown her then-3 month-old baby in a Miramar lake, the baby’s grandmother and father were arrested for failing to protect him.

Conlan Armour, 30, and Grace Ann Brooks, 56, were both charged with failure to report child abuse and child neglect. Armour was arrested Oct. 22 and released the next day on $4,500 bond. Brooks was arrested Oct. 23 and released on the same day, also on a $4,500 bond.

If convicted on both counts, Armour and Brooks could face up to 20 years in prison. Armour’s arraignment is set for Nov. 12 and Brooks’ has yet to be scheduled.

“Based on information gathered in the near drowning incident Ms. Brooks and Mr. Armour were charged with child neglect in the form of culpable negligence,” Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues said. “Their actions or lack thereof resulted in great bodily harm to the infant.”

The father and grandmother couldn’t be reached Tuesday and their attorneys were not listed in Broward court records.

On July 1, baby Cayden Armour was rushed to Joe DiMaggio hospital after his mother, Inakesha Armour, threw him in their Riviera Isles community lake and then fished him out several minutes later. He remains in the hospital, unconscious and on a ventilator, according police.

A passerby noticed the wet baby on the grass and got out of her car to perform CPR. At the time, the baby’s mother told police she suffered from postpartum depression. She told her mother that she was taking the baby to visit a neighbor, but instead went to the lake.

The attempted drowning wasn’t the first time she tried to kill the baby. A month before, she told police at the time, she had fed the baby adult cough syrup and tried to smother him with a pillow.

Inakesha Armour was charged with two counts of attempted murder. On Aug. 1, she was released on a $50,000 bond. Her attorney, Jeremy Kroll, did not return calls Tuesday.

But after Inakesha Armour’s arrest, the investigation continued. Any individual who suspects or knows that a child has been abused by any person is required by legislation, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, to report the abuse to the Florida Abuse Hotline, according to the Department of Children and Families website.

Miramar police officer Steve Jepkema wrote in his report that Conlan Armour said his wife had tried to kill the baby before.

“He stated that his wife had given their son some cough syrup on a previous occasion and he took him to the hospital to be evaluated,” the officer wrote. “He also stated that he believed his wife tried to kill their child during the incident, but he refused to call the police because he wanted to handle it within the family.”

Shortly after the near drowning, the baby was placed in the custody of his father. It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether the custody had changed.

DCF spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes said Tuesday that the child’s custody placement is confidential.

Brooks told police her daughter was prescribed medicine, but she stopped taking it about two weeks before she tried to drown Cayden because “it made her tired,” according to the report. Inakesha Armour’s mother also told police that she walked in on her daughter that day she gave him cough syrup.

Neither reported the incident to the proper authorities, the reports say.

“Had the prior incidents been reported to the proper authorities this may not have happened,” Rues said.