‘This Baby Went Through Living Hell’: Family Speaks Out, Couple Arrested

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After a California couple was arrested, accused of a heinous crime against their own infant daughter, their own family decided to speak out. “This baby went through living hell,” the couple’s family allege, as they suggested that this unspeakable tragedy could have been prevented — if authorities had just listened.

Elizabeth Ucman
Elizabeth Ucman and Brandon Copeland (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Elizabeth Ucman and Brandon Copeland, a San Diego, California couple, only had custody of their 3-month-old daughter, Delilah, for 6 weeks when the newborn baby girl suddenly passed away. After responding to a report of an unresponsive infant, police arrived at the couple’s home, where they found the child’s lifeless body, according to a release from the authorities, The Blaze reported.

CPR was attempted until San Diego Fire-Rescue arrived and Delilah was rushed to a local hospital. Sadly, it was too late. The newborn was pronounced dead, and it wasn’t long before her parents were arrested, accused of murdering their infant daughter. She had only just been returned to their custody by San Diego County’s Child Welfare Services weeks before.

Delilah (Photo Credit: Facebook)

The 22-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man had their daughter removed from their home after it was determined that Delilah was living in squalid conditions in the family’s apartment. According to Adrienne Arnett, the child’s great-grandmother, “Delilah’s great aunt was given emergency custody at birth because social services determined the parents and their apartment were unfit for care,” NBC San Diego reported.

Sadly, the child was returned to her parents’ custody six weeks later after Ucman and Copeland allegedly cleaned up their place. Just weeks after that, however, the child was dead, and her great-grandmother didn’t seem too surprised as she told CBS 8 of the horrific homelife Delilah endured before her untimely death at the hands of her parents, which Arnett described as “dangerous.”

Elizabeth Ucman
Police responded to a 911 call at the couple’s apartment and took the baby to the hospital, but it was too late. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

“This baby went through living hell,” Arnett said, recalling how Ucman and Copeland’s home was filthy and unfit for a newborn baby, leading to the child’s great aunt being given emergency custody after her birth. Arnett added that she wasn’t quiet about her concerns either. “I knew my granddaughter was dangerous,” Arnett admitted. “I knew this and I told social services.”

According to Arnett, she wasn’t alone in her concerns, either. “Social services was told by every member of the family that she was dangerous. We knew the boy was dangerous,” she said. Seemingly lambasting social services for returning the child to her parents’ custody, Arnett added, “We have a whole family of people that would have taken care of this baby.”

Delilah (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Following an investigation into the child’s death, authorities arrested both Elizabeth Ucman and Brandon Copeland on charges of first-degree murder. Ucman was ordered held without bond in the Los Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee, while Copeland was also ordered held without bond but at the San Diego Central Jail. The couple, who have pleaded not guilty to the charges, face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, it’s Adrienne Arnett’s hope that Delilah’s death isn’t all in vain. Instead, she hopes that by speaking out, she can help save another child. “Delilah is in heaven,” Arnett said. “I can’t help her, but there are so many other babies out there. I can’t save my grandbaby, but maybe we can save some others.”

Sadly, the State of California and San Diego County’s Child Welfare Services seemed to have every opportunity to save this child, but they didn’t. Instead, they decided that these parents deserved a second chance, ignoring the warnings from family, and Delilah seems to have paid for it with her life. Even sadder yet, this is an all too common occurrence. Time and again, we see innocent people paying the price after a dangerous deviant is given a chance to amend for their mistakes.

Making matters worse, that innocent person who pays the price is often a child. Perhaps if those responsible for making such decisions also had to deal with consequences when tragedy strikes, we wouldn’t see so many children falling victim to murderous parents. When the people who are tasked with upholding our laws, delivering justice, and keeping innocent citizens safe fail so significantly, maybe they should be held accountable to those who are harmed by their decisions. That just might make some authority figures think twice and realize that some people do not deserve second chances, especially when a helpless child is involved.