A Beaumont woman is currently serving a life sentence. Good riddance. Kenisha Eronda Berry, 29, was convicted in February of 2004 for killing her baby in 1998 by binding and gagging him with duct tape, stuffing him in a garbage bag and placing him in a trash bin. Berry faces charges of abandoning another infant, found June 6, 2003, in a roadside ditch south of town. Found covered in ants by 83-year-old Andrew Durham on an early morning walk down Hillebrandt Road, this child, Parris, survived. Poison from hundreds of ant bites caused seizures and necessitated a blood transfusion, according to court papers and The Enterprise archives. The baby was hospitalized for nearly a month.
Almost five years after, a couple looking for aluminum cans found the baby in a trash bin at Park Apartments on Park and Florida streets, the child’s death remained unsolved. When Parris was found on the roadside, anonymous tips led Jefferson County investigators to suspect the child was Berry’s daughter. And on June 12, 2003, Berry walked into the sheriff’s office and told deputies the baby was hers. When Berry showed deputies where she’d tossed a pillowcase in which she’d wrapped Parris, it was the same trash bin where the dead infant, called Baby Hope by neighborhood residents, was found years earlier. Berry gave birth to Baby Hope and Parris at home, alone, 4½ years apart. She also birthed a son, who was not abandoned, in the same manner. She kept all the pregnancies a secret, according to court documents. When she was arrested for abandoning Parris, Berry had worked for more than a year caring for toddlers at a Beaumont day care. The day care has been closed since at least 2003.