Only on 2: Family friends of mother charged in July drowning of 3-year-old in Webster speak out

WEBSTER, Texas – Those who loved little Mars say they will remember him as an amazing 3-year-old kid who had dreams of being a superhero.

“Mars was your typical 3-year-old little boy. He loved superheroes, spiderman anywhere he went he had on a cape or a mask,” those who knew him stated, “Mars never met a stranger. If you knew Mars, you loved Mars.”

According to authorities, Mars Bedell was pronounced dead after he drowned in a swimming pool in Webster back in July.

Investigators say Mars’ mother, Christina Meeks, allegedly left the child unattended at the pool for over an hour before he drowned.

Now, family friends who say they helped raise Mars on and off over the past few years are outraged.

RELATED: Mug shot: Mother arrested, charged after July drowning of 3-year-old in Webster, court docs say

Nikki and Joshua Pinkert told KPRC 2 that they first started spending time with the small child when his mother dropped him off at their home daycare.

“After she started leaving him longer, she started having excuses [about] why she couldn’t pick him up,” Nikki said.

Despite the couple having no blood relation to the child, they say their time with him became something they grew to love, highlighting their trip to Disney World.

“In the beginning, it would be days. And then it would turn into a week at a time. And then, he might stay for a weekend,” they said. “After that, we just wanted him to stay anyways because he was always with us anyways, and we ended up raising him for two years.”

RELATED: Mars is a superhero: 3-year-old celebrated for life-saving organ donations after drowning in Webster

At one point, the couple even discussed gaining custody of little Mars.

That all changed after his death, which the couple says they think about every single day.

“When you leave a toddler alone around water, what do you expect to happen?” Joshua said.

Little Mars was indeed able to become a superhero by donating his organs, which were given to two children and two adults in need.

His mother, Christine remains in the Harris County Jail. She is expected in court on Dec. 15.


About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.

Reporter, proud Houstonian, U of H alumni, and lover of all the hometown sport teams.