Autopsy of an Indiana woman’s baby has confirmed that she died by overdosing on the methamphetamine suffusing her mother’s breast milk.
Ashlee Rans, 36, told authorities she rolled over infant daughter Nevaeh while co-sleeping, accidentally killing her. And while tragic at face value, the truth uncovered by a Marshall County forensic pathologist was more disturbing. Nevaeh did not suffocate — she overdosed.
“Every year, we get those cases where people fall asleep with their infant in their arms in a chair or in bed or somehow end up asphyxiating an otherwise healthy child, just from unsafe practices,” Marshall County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier said. It would have been a believable story, if not for the clear forensic evidence.
“The cause and manner of death were determined by the forensic pathologist, and he determined the infant died of acute methamphetamine intoxication, and the manner of death was homicide,” Napier told local NBC affiliate WNDU.
Rans had only admitted to using marijuana, though she was aware that it would cause her infant to be exposed through nursing. Only after the autopsy removed any reasonable doubt did she admit to using meth as well. She is currently jailed on two charges of “neglect of a dependent resulting in death.”
If convicted, Rans could face up to 40 years in prison.