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2-Year-Old Boy Dies After Drinking Babysitter's Methadone-Laced Soda

An Alabama woman has been arrested after the 2-year-old boy she was babysitting reportedly drank her methadone-laced soda and died.

Cassie Townsend, 31, was taking care of baby Demonie Hendon on March 6, reports.

She told Bessemer police she had methadone in a grape soda bottle but had misplaced it. She assumed the baby must have taken it and when she found Hendon, she could tell he was sick.

Methadone is an opioid medication commonly used by people who are addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs. The medication is supposed to reduce withdrawal symptoms without causing the “high” associated with drug abuse.

Townsend rushed Hendon to UAB West hospital. She then took him to another home, and finally to Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

Bessemer Police Sergeant Charlie Burton said the child was unresponsive when he arrived at the hospital and was put on life support. He was pronounced dead that afternoon.

Townsend, who police say is either the boy’s aunt or godmother, was originally charged with chemical endangerment of a child and arrested.

Jail records show she was released from Jefferson County Jail on March 9 after posting $30,000 bail.

Two days later, Bessemer police decided to upgrade charges against Townsend to chemical endangerment exposure to a child resulting in death. She was taken into custody again and is being held on $60,000 bail.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates said it would take a couple of weeks for toxicology test results to come in. The results would determine whether it was the methadone in Townsend's soda that caused the 2-year-old’s death.

Hendon would have turned 3 years old on March 14.

Source:, WBRC

Photo Credit: Handout Photo via Mail Online


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