Police say that a husband and wife from Alabama overdosed on heroin in the Cincinnati hospital room of their daughter. The woman died, while the man was revived and then arrested.
Cincinnati Police report that they were called about a possible overdose occurring at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on the morning of January 7. There they found Mary Ann Landers, 31, already dead on the floor of a hospital room. At the same time Wesley Landers, 32, was found unresponsive in the bathroom.
According to Cincinnati police Lt. Stephen Saunders, the wife was found dead with a needle still in her arm. Police believe that she was shooting heroin.
Wesley was also reportedly found with a needle still stuck in his arm when police arrived.
Police also report that the man had a loaded handgun in his possession, a violation of hospital rules.
The couple were in Cincinnati for their daughter to received reconstructive surgery on her windpipe. The surgery was meant to correct a birth defect and the family had been planning the lifesaving operation for months. Ultimately her surgery was a success, doctors said.
Wesley’s bond was set at $500,000, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
At least one friend was shocked at how Mary died. Mary’s friend, Tracey Bice, said that doing heroin “wasn’t Mary.”
“She lived and breathed for Molly and miracle baby Lucy,” Bice told AL.com. “Please understand that what the news is portraying was not her.”
Indeed, the couple’s social media is filled with images of the two as devoted parents striving to save the life of their disabled child.
A GoFundMe page had been started to help the family cover the expenses of the child’s surgery, but it was pulled down after the arrests.
As Judge Curt Kissinger said during Wesley’s arraignment, “If the heroin epidemic has exhibited itself in a more tragic form, I haven’t seen it.”
According to a recent piece in The New York Times, the nation’s looming heroin addiction is hitting mostly whites in the suburbs and small towns.
By 2013 deaths from heroin overdoses had risen a sharp 39 percent, and 90 percent of first-time users were white.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org