Towanda Reaves (pictured) has been charged with second-degree murder and child abuse, after Baltimore authorities say she rubbed the drug methadone on the gums of her 17-month-old grandson to get him to fall asleep. The woman was also charged with assault, after police say she reportedly administered the same drug to her 20-month-old granddaughter as well, according to CBS Baltimore’s WJZ.
Police investigators said the children were under the care of Reaves on July 4th. According to the 50-year-old woman, she put the grandkids to bed at 8 p.m. and when she peeked in on them at 2 a.m., she found the boy to be unresponsive so she called paramedics.
When the emergency response workers arrived at Reaves’ apartment, they tried resuscitating the boy, Aadyn Overton, but were not successful. The children were transported to a nearby hospital and Overton was pronounced dead at 4:52 a.m.
A chief medical examiner listed methadone intoxication as the toddler’s cause of death.
Reportedly, Reaves denied giving the children the potent drug, claiming that they stumbled upon it on their own. After police delved further in to Reaves’ story, she wound up allegedly confessing that she had actually rubbed methadone — which is sometimes prescribed as a painkiller but typically used to wean addicts off drugs like heroin — on the children’s gum lines so that they would sleep.
The children’s father was asleep on the couch while Reaves attended to the toddlers.