A 3-year-old girl has died from an overdose of methamphetamine and buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, after her parents left her unattended for 22-hours. The young girl lived in an apartment with her parents and her brother when she was found unresponsive by her mother, Brittany Higgins. The couple had been on a 22-hour long meth binge and had left their children alone in their bedrooms the entire time.
Both parents say they do not know how their daughter overdosed on meth claiming they kept their drugs away from their children, but Brittany Higgins confessed to her own mother at a later date that she had been using meth when the girl died. After Higgins was persuaded to hand over her stash of needles, drugs, and pipes, the police tested the toddler’s body and confirmed she had died from a drug overdose.
Three-year-old girl dies after overdosing on meth https://t.co/7wTou7ftJJ— Mexico Star (@mexicostar) March 27, 2018
The family had lived together in a small apartment which had previously been a meth lab. Neighbours say they kept a low profile, but that the young girl could be seen occasionally playing outside.
“She was a sweetheart. She liked to dance around like a lot of three-year-olds,” said one neighbour who wished to remain anonymous. “Her death, that's hard to grip.”
Both parents have been arrested and charged with a range of crimes including child abuse and third-degree murder, meanwhile their dealer has also been arrested and charged with drug delivery resulting in death.
Police have also revealed that communications between the girl’s mother and father have led police to conclude that the parents were abusing their children physically. This lines up with reports from neighbours stating that the children had often appeared bruised and injured, and would not say why.
Mother, 29, is charged with murder after her three-year-old daughter died of a METH overdose https://t.co/MLHtcyLRiO— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) March 26, 2018
Both mother and father of the young girl have insisted they kept their drugs out of their children’s reach, including stashed away in a safe and kept on top of a wardrobe that was unreachable. They said they also installed a child-safety gate, which the two children would hang from and watch as the parents injected methamphetamines. It is not clear at this time if they have also denied accusations of physical abuse.
“The death of this sweet, innocent little girl is the most heart breaking example of the danger the overdose epidemic has brought to our community and region,” said Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal when speaking to the press.
It has not yet been confirmed if this would be the youngest known case of a meth overdose in US history, but the local coroner confirmed he has never seen another case remotely like it.