Mother denies giving 3-year-old son methadone prior to his death

Indiana woman charged in death of 3-year-old son
Indiana woman charged in death of 3-year-old son
Updated: May. 14, 2020 at 5:05 PM EDT
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DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (FOX19) - The mother of a 3-year-old who authorities say died after ingesting 380 units of methadone denies giving the prescribed drug to the boy.

Christina Watkins, 38, is currently in the Dearborn County Jail after she was arrested by Aurora police Tuesday. She has since been indicted on one count of neglect resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of reckless homicide.

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The charges stem from the death of her son in January at their home in the 100 block of Aspen Ridge Drive.

Prosecutor Lynn Deddens says when officers arrived to the house, Watkins reported that the child was “wheezing” the night before and tried to wake him up several of times to try to get him to cough out the mucus from his chest. The boy was unresponsive, so Watkins called 911 and began CPR as instructed by the operator.

Watkins told investigators her son may have ingested Comet cleaner, but since he showed no signs of having taken it, she thought he was fine, court documents said.

During her interview, Watkins told officers that she was prescribed methadone. With her consent, officers searched her house.

Prosecutor Deddens says when officers arrived at her house in January, they found a padlock on the kitchen counter and several bags usually used for methadone patients to secure their doses.

A dark blue bag with 6 bottles was located in front of the couch on the living room floor.

The affidavit states one bottle was untouched, three empty and two with very small amounts of methadone left.

Prosecutor Deddens says Watkins confirmed to officers that she was taking more than her daily dose.

Watkins told officers she did not believe that she took the whole dose on January 12, and that her child had seen her taking methadone before, said Prosecutor Deddens.

Deddens says Watkins admitted that she did not believe that her son could have taken the lid off of the bottles nor would be able to put the lid back on.

In addition to the methadone, the affidavit says obesity was also a factor in his death. The boy weighed 80 lbs., which is more than double the average weight of a three-year-old, according to doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Investigators say Watkins neglected the boy by not getting him to a hospital.

Prosecutor Deddens says her bond is set at $50,000 surety and $1,500 cash.

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