Gabriel King McFarland

2013 -  April 22, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial

In what is being called "an adoption run amuck", a four month old baby ended up dead from internal trauma. Markeya Atkins was 16 years old when she became pregnant with the baby of James Weehler-Smith, who was 17 years old. Markeya decided to put the baby up for adoption.


Rachel and Heidi McFarland decided they wanted to adopt a child and had been raising Gabriel since birth, though for some reason, the final adoption papers were finished. At some point, Markeya decided that she wanted to get her son back  and she went to the only mothers this baby had ever known and asked for her back. It was 40 days later when heidi was watching television when she learned that the child she and Rachel had named Gabriel, loved so much and had raised for almost three months, was dead:

"I happened to watch the news that day and found out. I actually never got to say good bye"

On the day he died, Gabriel's birth mother had gone to run some errands. During her absence, Siobhan, a friend of James' stopped by their home to pick something up and James was outside sitting on the porch, holding the baby. At that time, Siobhan could not see the face of the baby, but he was not crying. Siobhan called and asked Markeya if she was comfortable leaving Gabriel with James and after she already left, Markeya asked her to go back and stay with her son and James until she got home. Turning around and driving back, Siobhan noticed that James was in the car driving the away from their apartment so she let Markeya know that she thought Gabriel was home alone.

Siobhan and Markeya met at the apartment and they found Gabriel, alone in a chair with his bottle next to him. Siobhan noticed that Gabriel had a white foam all around his mouth and he wasn't breathing. A call was made to 911 and on the call Siobhan tells the 911 operator that her friends baby has been left alone after the baby sitter left him and now he was blue and no longer breathing. Siobhan can be heard asking Markeya the address of the home while Markeya is doing CPR on Gabriel. The 911 operator starts giving instructions on what to do after it becomes apparent that Gabriel is not breathing.

The two women did CPR according to the 911 operators instructions until the Fire Department arrived to take over. You can hear the frantic voice of one of them who keeps saying "he left him here", over and over. The apartment was searched, but no blood was found, attempts to save Gabriel's life were not successful and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

James Weehler-Smith was arrested and charged as an adult, with first degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. If convicted of murder, he would face life in prison and if convicted of child endangerment, he would face an additional 50 years.

The question on my mind is why would the question come up about if Markeya was comfortable leaving Gabriel with James and why was it so important to Markeya that Siobhan go back and wait with them? Did these two women feel like this baby was not safe with James and if so, why would Markeya have left the baby alone with him in the first place?

This page was created on June 4, 2014
Death Occurred in the state of Iowa

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