Police: Mother talked of killings

Sunday, July 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:07 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

A Moberly woman remains in the Randolph County Jail on $1 million bond in connection with the separate deaths of her infant son and daughter. The deaths occurred just more than a year apart.

Carla Clay, 23, was arrested by Moberly police on Thursday morning on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder. She was arraigned Thursday afternoon before Randolph County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Haynes.

A probable cause statement filed by the Moberly police department said multiple witnesses heard Clay confess to killing her infant children.

According to court documents, Clay told the witness she had “killed her babies, one with a pillow and one with a teddy bear.”

The documents also stated that during the conversation with the witness, Clay said she wanted to kill herself so she could be with her babies. The witness had to physically restrain Clay from jumping out of a moving vehicle. Later in the day, Clay told two other witnesses she had “killed her babies.”

The most recent child’s death occurred in the early morning of June 21, 2004, when Moberly police responded to the Clay home, located in the 900 block of Fisk Avenue, after receiving a call that a child was not breathing. The 7-week-old infant, Audrey Bedford, was taken to Moberly Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy report stated that the child’s nose had an abrasion that was “consistent with forcible closing of the nostrils.” The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be suffocation.

Moberly police also responded to a similar call at the Clay home at 7:29 a.m. June 8, 2003, when Clay’s son, Randy Bedford Jr., was reported to have stopped breathing. When police arrived, the child was found dead in his crib.

Clay stated she found Randy not breathing after finding a large teddy bear over his face.

The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was also suffocation.

Randolph county coroner David Haley said both autopsies were conducted at the Boone County Medical Examiner’s office in Columbia.

When the death of a child is investigated, Haley said, the autopsy is conducted by a certified child pathologist.

According to the probable cause statement, Clay provided Moberly police with a written statement in the death of her daughter. Two days later she was interviewed by Moberly detectives and made several inconsistent statements with her written statement.

Moberly Assistant Police Chief Dennis Cupp said his department treats every death as a homicide until proven otherwise.

The probable cause statement said on July 10, Clay reportedly consumed alcohol at two Randolph County establishments and appeared to be intoxicated.

According to the felony complaint filed by Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman, Clay, “after deliberation, knowingly killed or caused the death” of her children by suffocation.

Obituaries from the Moberly Monitor-Index listed the father of both children as Randy Bedford. Bedford’s grandmother, Deloris Bedford, said he is currently in jail, and the two had no other children.

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