Couple investigated in death of son, 8

Relates to:
Date: 2000-03-21

Houston Chronicle

A Cleveland couple are under investigation in the death of their 8-year-old son after bruises were found on his body.

Joseph Beebe, an adoptee who had cerebral palsy, died at the Cleveland Regional Medical Center Friday. The Liberty County Sheriff's Department is awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Children's Protective Services removed five other adopted children living with Joseph's parents, Edith and Brian Beebe, Saturday night and placed them in foster homes.

Joseph and the five children were born with severe medical problems, said the Beebes' lawyer, Daniel Bayless. The couple's triplets - Joseph, Jared and Amy - have cerebral palsy and were born three months premature with fetal alcohol syndrome, Bayless said.

Edith Beebe didn't hit Joseph, Bayless said. Joseph had a stomachache and was sitting on her lap in their home when he died of natural causes while being read a story, he said. At the time, Brian Beebe was working at a freight company, Bayless said.

The Beebes, who moved to Cleveland from Houston about six months ago, are "deeply religious" Baptists who believe children must be physically disciplined on occasion, Bayless said.

CPS removed the other five children from the Beebes' home after bruises were found on some of them, Bayless said.

"They feel it is their calling to help these children," Bayless said. "They're like many parents. They resort to a switch from time to time."


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