Crime

Couple Arrested After 3-Year-Old Dies Of Drug Overdose

| by Michael Howard

A 3-year-old girl in Milwaukee died after allegedly being given prescription pills by her parents.

In August 2016, first responders were called to the residence of Margarita Balderas, 34, and Darrell Woodson, 35, where they found 3-year-old London Woodson unresponsive. Paramedics administered CPR and transported her to the hospital.

Two days later, doctors removed London from life support after declaring her brain-dead.

The medical examiner revealed that she died as a "result of complications from acute mixed drug toxicity," according to WITI.

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Balderas and Woodson have since been arrested and charged with second-degree reckless homicide.

The criminal complaint shows that during her interview with police, Balderas indicated that "London Woodson has never had a normal sleep pattern."

Woodson gave a similar story, saying London had "very odd sleeping patterns, staying up all night and sleeping during the daytime." He also admitted that "approximately 10 days ago a prescription bottle of oxycodone spilled in the bedroom of the residence."

"However, Darrell Woodson was confident he and Margarita Balderas picked up all of the spilled pills," the complaint states.

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In February 2017, police learned that Balderas and Woodson's three surviving children were in foster care and "were reporting drug abuse Margarita Balderas and Darrell Woodson during the time of London Woodson's collapse and subsequent death."

That's when police decided to interview them again.

The couple's oldest child -- who is 14 -- told investigators that Balderas and Woodson "would break off pieces of prescription pills and give the pills to London Woodson in order to get London Woodson to sleep."

"Both defendants did this on multiple occasions," the complaint continues. "After London Woodson would take the pill, the defendants would say, 'Yay, good job!'"

According to the 14-year-old, Balderas and Woodson "would either use medication that was prescribed to one of the older children, or the defendants used 'street medicine.'"

The complaint also states that while the family was at the hospital following London's overdose "Darrell Woodson stared at [the 14-year-old]." The child reportedly "knew what Darrell Woodson's stare meant, 'don't snitch.'"

The other children reportedly confirmed the 14-year-old's testimony. One told police that Woodson "would give the children 'sleeping pills' and 'chilling pills,'" while the other indicated that "Darrell Woodson kept the medicine on a dresser and London Woodson ate it."

The second child also said the "defendants would put the medicine in London's mouth and then give London a bottle."

The 14-year-old had been alone in the house when London overdosed, and called 911 after noticing that she was sweating and struggling to breathe, Greenfield Patch reports.

Balderas and Woodson are scheduled to appear in court for their preliminary hearings on March 7. If found guilty, they both face up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

Sources: WITI, Greenfield Patch / Photo credit: WITI

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