Faith-healing couple charged with murder by neglect for death of - KPTV - FOX 12

Faith-healing couple charged with murder by neglect for death of newborn daughter

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Sarah Mitchell and Travis Mitchell appeared in court Tuesday via video conference. (KPTV) Sarah Mitchell and Travis Mitchell appeared in court Tuesday via video conference. (KPTV)
Sarah Elaine Mitchell, Travis Lee Mitchell, jail booking photos Sarah Elaine Mitchell, Travis Lee Mitchell, jail booking photos
OREGON CITY, OR (KPTV) -

A man and woman who believe in faith healing over medicine have been charged with murder by neglect for the death of their newborn daughter.

Sarah Elaine Mitchell, 24, and Travis Lee Mitchell, 21, were arrested Monday after a three-month investigation.

Investigators said Sarah Mitchell gave birth to twins at her parents' house in Oregon City on March 5. Family members, midwives and members of the Followers of Christ Church were present for the births.

A church elder contacted the medical examiner's office after one of the babies developed breathing issues and died. Nobody called 911, according to deputies.

The medical examiner determined the baby died from complications of prematurity. The second baby was taken to a neonatal intensive care unit after the family was persuaded to allow for medical attention, according to investigators.

Sarah and Travis Mitchell are each charged with murder by neglect and two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

They pleaded not guilty Tuesday and are scheduled to face trial on Aug. 3. They remained in jail without bail Tuesday.

Sarah Mitchell's sister Shannon Hickman and her husband Dale Hickman were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison in 2011 for the death of their newborn son.

Investigators said the Hickmans were also members of the Followers of Christ Church and refused to seek medical care for their baby.

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