An overdose has been declared the cause of death of a 14-month-old Elyria girl who ingested a drug typically used to fight heroin addiction while at the home of a relative, according to investigators.
The baby girl, Anthonya Myers, was at a home on East 30th Street in Lorain on Dec. 17 with members of her family. Police were told that while at the home the baby stopped breathing and family members called 911.
It was later learned through toxicology tests that Anthonya Myers died from an overdose of methadone, a Schedule II drug, which means it is legal only with a doctor’s prescription.
Lorain County Coroner Paul Matus said the girl was pronounced dead at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain. Matus still is investigating the manner of death, which legally he can only indicate as homicide, suicide or undetermined.
“We haven’t nailed down how this baby ingested the drug,” Matus said.
Police are investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.
Lorain police Sgt. Mark Carpetiere said when the investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office. Neither Matus nor Carpetiere would say who in the home may have been prescribed the methadone or in possession of the drug at the time the toddler ingested it.
“This is just tragic,” Matus said. “The baby was absolutely beautiful and perfect.”
Methadone is prescribed as a tablet taken orally as a part of drug addiction treatment. Its effects typically last about 24 hours and can cause slowed breathing, an irregular heartbeat and is often linked to overdoses, according to the National Institute of Health and the DEA.
At about 7:45 p.m. Dec. 17, officers responded after receiving a call about a 14-month-old baby in full arrest, according to a police report. When they reached the home, located at 1909 E. 30th St., LifeCare paramedics were performing CPR on Anthonya in the back of the ambulance.
She was only wearing a diaper, the report said.
When officers arrived they met with the father, Anthony Myers, and mother, Falisha Myers, both of Elyria.
Officers tried to talk to Falisha Myers, but she started to hyperventilate and a second ambulance was called to the house.
The child was taken to Mercy and pronounced dead at 8:32 p.m.
According to an obituary that appeared days after her death, Anthonya was born in Westlake and was described as a child that was “always happy and smiling.”
Patti Jo Burnett, spokeswoman for Lorain County Children Services, said the county agency is working with the police to ensure the safety of Anthonya’s 7-year-old sibling.
She could not comment on whether the child has been placed with relatives or remains with the parents because of the ongoing investigation.