Just when you think you have heard everything out pops a report which is shocking to the core. Towanda Reaves, 50, from Baltimore in the USA has been charged with the murder of her one-year-old grandson after allegedly rubbing methadone, a heroine substitute, into his gums.
The child died early in July and the grandmother was arrested August 1 on suspicion of his murder.
An emergency call was made to police on July 5 after paramedics attending a call-out in the northwestern neighbourhood of Franklintown could not revive a young boy. Only hours later at 4.52am, at the Sinai hospital, he was pronounced dead and a police investigation began. The children had been in bed since 8pm.
The grandmother stayed at the house and later the boy's younger sister also became ill. The baby girl was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital and toxicology tests were carried out. They appeared to show that methadone was present in the baby girl's bloodstream.
According to police Towanda Reaves admitted rubbing methadone, a known opiate and painkiller, into both children's gums. The cause of death for the boy is given as methadone intoxication.
Reaves now faces charges of second-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, assault, child abuse causing serious injury and reckless endangerment.
It is hard to put yourself into this families shoes without knowing the full circumstances. Rubbing methadone into a small child's gums is the height of stupidity. The kids father was asleep in the house at the time. Just who did the methadone belong to? Were other hard drugs in the home also? Is Towanda the only person to blame here or are other family members directly or indirectly at fault.
What is methadone?
According to wikipedia:
Methadone (also known as Symoron, Dolophine, Amidone, Methadose, Physeptone, Heptadon and many other names) is a synthetic opioid. It is used medically as an analgesic and a maintenance anti-addictive and reductive preparation for use by patients with opioid dependency. It was developed in Germany in 1937, mainly because Germany required a reliable internal source of opiates. Because it is an acyclic analog of morphine or heroin, methadone acts on the same opioid receptors as these drugs, and thus has many of the same effects. Methadone is also used in managing severe chronic pain, owing to its long duration of action, extremely powerful effects, and very low cost. Methadone was introduced into the United States in 1947 by Eli Lilly and Company. Abuse of methadone results in about 5,000 overdose deaths per year in the United States.
Does methadone sound the sort of substance an adult would rub into a child or baby's gums? Not in a million years.
Sky News USA