Michigan Mom Cried, Immediately Slept Following Toddler's Death

| by Emily Smith
Elizabeth LongElizabeth Long

Michigan mom Elizabeth Long cried following news of her son’s death, then reportedly fell asleep for at least two hours in the police department interview room.

The 34-year-old woman’s cries and snores were played for the jury on Feb. 23 during her hearing, the Detroit Free Press reports. Elizabeth was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse in the death of her 16-month-old son Lukas Long.

Patrick Long, Elizabeth Long’s ex-husband, said the home environment had been “tense” leading up to their infant son’s death. According to him, Elizabeth said she was having sleepwalking episodes, which escalated in January 2015. During one reported episode, Elizabeth fell asleep on the kitchen floor. When their daughter woke her up, she reportedly walked outside and fell off the back porch. She had to seek treatment at the hospital following the fall.

During another incident, Patrick was called home when his 8-year-old son called police to inform them that his mother wouldn’t wake up. Lukas was on the changing table while Elizabeth was unresponsive.

According to the prosecutor, Elizabeth was a prescription drug addict during this time, The Times Herald reports. On the day of Lukas' death, Elizabeth tested positive for hydrocodone and morphine. She had a prescription for the hydrocodone but not the morphine.

On Jan. 29, 2015, Patrick said he found Elizabeth asleep on the toilet in their bathroom, according to the Detroit Free Press. The couple then had an argument.

“In the midst of that argument, I said, ‘If this is going to keep up, I don’t think I can stick around here,’” Patrick testified.

Later that day, police called Patrick and told him to return home due to an emergency. While driving home, he called Elizabeth, who said it looked like Lukas had "suffocated while taking a nap," according to Patrick's testimony. Lukas was pronounced dead that day.

Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz testified on Feb. 23 that Lukas died of an overdose of diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Benadryl. Spitz noted that he couldn’t rule out an accident or homicide as the cause of death. 

Sources: Detroit Free Press, The Times Herald / Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press, Beth LeBlanc/Times Herald via Detroit Free Press

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