Couple behind bars after methadone found in baby
Kokomo, Ind. — The parents of a 15-month-old baby girl in Kokomo have been arrested after investigators say near lethal levels of methadone was found inside the child's body.
The apartment the girl was found in was more than 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The child was found in a pack and play crib were investigators say there were spots that looked the same as liquid narcotics found inside the home.
Lab results that took several weeks to come back determined that the child had access to two baby bottles that both had alcohol in them. The child's parents, 20-year-old Basil McCoy and 22-year-old Jessica Deaton are each charged with one count of neglect of a dependent a class C felony.
Emergency room doctors say they can't do much for babies who ingest methadone or other narcotics.
"You put a tube down their throat and breath for them and then wait for the medicine to clear from their system and hope that it doesn't cause damage," said Dr. Keith Ennis with St. Joseph Hospital.
According to court documents, both McCoy and Deaton have not cooperated with police during the investigation but both told officers back in July they were not aware their baby had ingested liquid methadone.
The McCoy baby had not had this happen before but family members say there had been signs of trouble before. According to court documents, relatives have accused the baby's mother of losing the child at a T.J. Maxx store two months before the incident. Also it's alleged the parents sold methadone for $8 a pill and these family members claim neither of the child's parents worked.
November 29, 2010
Parents charged in drugged baby case
The parents of a Kokomo toddler were arrested Sunday evening on child neglect charges, almost five months after the child nearly died at a Kokomo hospital.
Kokomo police said the girl, who was 15 months old on July 2, had the narcotic drug methadone in her system.
Jessica Deaton, 22, and Basil McCoy, 20, were both charged earlier this month with child neglect as a class C felony, shortly after crime lab test results allegedly confirmed what doctors already had suspected.
Police said the child was unresponsive due to a near fatal overdose on July 2, when paramedics were called to the apartment Deaton and McCoy shared.
The child was taken to Howard Regional Health System and then transferred to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where she was stabilized.
Kokomo Police Lt. Don Whitehead said the baby spent several days at Riley recovering from the overdose. He said the state now has custody of the child, and that the child has not been back with the parents since the incident.
Numerous marks, apparently from burns, were discovered on the child’s body at the hospital, police said.
Both Deaton and McCoy were dependent on methadone at the time of the incident, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by police.
According to the National Institutes of Health, methadone is a narcotic analgesic used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiate drugs and are enrolled in treatment programs.
Both parents were taking the drug in liquid form daily, and numerous bottles of the liquid drug were found in the apartment by police, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Howard Circuit Court.
Police also said lab results indicated two of the infant’s bottles had traces of alcohol in them.
Whitehead said the parents did not cooperate with the police investigation, and both denied intentionally giving the baby the methadone.
“How the child got a near-lethal dose — how that happened — we don’t all agree on,” Whitehead said.
“There was no proof [the parents gave the baby methadone],” he added. “You’d like to think nobody does that to their kids.”
According to the affidavit, Deaton told police she took other narcotic prescription medication in addition to the methadone. Deaton said she and McCoy also sold pills to make money. Police said neither parent was employed.
Paramedics said the infant was “unconscious and limp” when they arrived at the apartment the morning of July 2. They said the child was taking just three breaths per minute.
At Howard Regional, doctors inserted a breathing tube and administered Narcan, a drug commonly used to counteract the effects of an opiate overdose. Doctors told police the child responded positively to the Narcan, an indication that the child had been dosed with opiates.
Police expected both parents to turn themselves in after charges were filed Nov. 5, but neither Deaton nor McCoy surrendered voluntarily. Howard Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray issued arrest warrants for Deaton and McCoy last week.
Both parents bonded out of the Howard County jail Sunday.
November 29, 2010
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