Cops: Mom Fed Meth to Toddler Who Took Methadone

Natalie Russell allegedly tried to neutralize effects after daughter took drug
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2016 10:00 AM CDT
Cops: Mom Fed Meth to Toddler Who Took Methadone
Natalie Russell was charged with first-degree murder in the methadone-overdose death of her 22-month-old daughter.    (Phoenix Police Department)

A 30-year-old Phoenix mom has been charged with murder after allegedly feeding her toddler meth in a bid to counteract the methadone the little girl had swallowed. Police say 22-month-old Adalynn Russell died on April 14 after consuming liquid methadone she found in her family’s house the night before. Cops say mother Natalie Russell "recklessly left a 120 mg bottle of liquid methadone in reach of her children"; Russell eventually told police that Adalynn drank some of it around 10pm, the Arizona Republic reports. Russell didn't call 911, but investigators found she searched the web for info on methadone ODs. The police report refers to a witness who says Russell told her "she was going to get methamphetamines to counter the effects of the methadone."

The witness reported seeing Russell insert the meth into her daughter's rectum, reports KPHO. At the time of her death, Adalynn had toxic levels of both drugs in her system. A woman in the Russell home (it's unclear if this is the witness) found the toddler, who was not breathing, around 6:45am. That's about nine hours after she drank the methadone, which is used by recovering opiate addicts to overcome withdrawal symptoms. Paramedics were called to the house and tried to revive the child but it was too late. Russell, who cops describe as an "addict," was arrested on July 26 and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. Her two sons are in the custody of the state's Department of Child Safety. (Read more methadone stories.)

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