‘Methadone toxicity’ cited in three-year-old's death

From Local Sources

PAOLI — An Orange County husband and wife charged in connection with the methadone toxicity death of their 3-year-old child made initial appearances Wednesday in Orange County Circuit Court.

Brittany Harris
Tyler Harris

Brittany A Harris, 22, and Tyler W. Harris, 22, both of West Baden Springs, are each charged with a Level 1 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

Nearly two months ago, according to Indiana State Police at the Jasper Post, Detectives David Henderson and Shane Staggs, along with Orange County Sheriff’s Department Detective Jon Deaton and the Department of Child Services initiated an investigation into the death of the 3-year-old.

On Dec. 3, 2018, Orange County 911 Dispatch Center received an emergency call from 7487 W. Orange County Road 750N, West Baden Springs, reporting an unresponsive child in the home.

The child was taken to IU Heath Paoli where he was later pronounced deceased by Orange County Coroner Aaron Kemple and Deputy Coroner Tyler Phillips.

Police say investigators from both the Indiana State Police and Orange County Sheriff’s Department worked tirelessly trying to connect the dots in this tragedy.

Police say the Orange County Coroner’s Office confirmed as a result of an autopsy that the child’s cause of death was methadone toxicity.

Methadone is a medically assisted treatment for opioid withdrawal.

Ultimately, police report, law enforcement officers were able to obtain enough evidence to be granted two arrest warrants from the Orange County Circuit Court for the Harrises.

French Lick Police Department Assistant Chief Brian Shipman arrested Brittany Harris without incident Wednesday. Additionally, Orange County Sheriff’s Department Detective Jon Deaton and Sgt. Lloyd Tharp arrested Tyler Harris without incident.

Both Tyler and Brittany Harris are currently incarcerated in the Orange County Jail with bonds set at $500,000 surety or $50,000 cash.

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