Society

Mother Arrested After Newborn Dies Of Meth Overdose

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A mother from Edmonton, Canada, was charged with second-degree murder May 11 after her 11-day-old baby had died from a methamphetamine overdose.

Police arrived at the residence of 31-year-old Michelle Rice March 29 after receiving a call that a baby was not breathing. Global News reports that the infant was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Due to privacy reasons, the infant's name was not released.

An autopsy and toxicology tests confirmed that the baby girl suffered from a drug overdose.

"The Medical Examiner has stated that there are two ways that the baby could have ingested the methamphetamine; that’s either anally or orally,” said Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison.

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Pattison doesn't believe that the drug was administered through the mother's breast milk, implying that the woman might have intentionally killed the newborn.

"From the Medical Examiner… our understanding [is] that level of methamphetamine...couldn't have been administered through a woman’s breast milk."

According to the CBC, toxicology usually takes between six to nine months to complete. These results came in after only one week. Nonetheless, Pattison says that he thinks "they were definitive." 

The mother, who was not known by police prior to this incident, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Rice also has a young son who is currently being taken care of by family members. 

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Rice's landlord, Josh Gork, tells Global News that he never would have suspected Rice to be a drug addict.

"When she came she had a little boy and was pregnant and so of course we wanted to give her a place and she had great references," he said. "She was honestly a really good tenant and never had any issues.

"If she has a problem with drugs then she hid it very well."

Pattison called the crime "horrific."

"We all have children," he said. "Those are traumatic events, especially when it’s an 11-day-old child. Investigators are working on behalf of someone who is vulnerable and unable to defend themself."

Detectives are now looking to speak to several individuals who are believed to have visited Rice's residence within the past two weeks. 

"We understand that there were a bunch of people coming to visit this mother and her newborn child," Pattison tells the CBC. "Investigators would like to speak with all of those people to further their evidence and progress this investigation."

Sources: Global News, CBC / Photo Credit: Bridget Coila/Flickr

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