Two parents in Moore are accused of murder in the overdose death of their 6-year-old child.
Kimberly Blair, 29, and Jerimy McKenna, 29, were charged with second-degree murder and child neglect on Monday.
In March, their 6-year-old child was found unresponsive in their home.
Moore police responded to the scene.
“Upon their (officers) arrival, they observed that the child was actually deceased,” said Moore police Lt. Kyle Johnson. “The child was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
An autopsy showed no trauma; however, preliminary toxicology came back positive.
“Throughout the investigation, they (detectives) learned that there may have been some negligence involved unfortunately and that the cause of death of the child was methadone overdose,” said Johnson.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, methadone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as for pain management.
“Methadone can cause respiratory distress, especially in a small child which appeared to be some of the case in this incident,” said Johnson. “Because of some of those effects, methadone in Oklahoma is required to be constantly locked when not in use.”
Detectives interviewed both parents who said they believe it was accidental.
“It appears that they (parents) believe at least that it was maybe accidental in nature,” said Johnson. “Through the investigation, detectives found some circumstances in the house that would cause some concern.”
According to court records, detectives say they observed unsecured methadone bottles inside the home.
The couple’s 2-year-old son also tested positive for methadone but survived.
Police urge this be a warning to parents everywhere.
“We have a duty and obligation to protect our children from those things and not introduce things in the environment that causes those things,” said Johnson.
Moore police said they have not been taken into custody just yet because both parents are not threats to the public. That’s expected to happen soon.