Toddler Dies After Drinking Babysitter’s Methadone-Laced Grape Soda

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — Alabama police say a toddler has died after drinking from a bottle of grape soda believed to be laced with methadone.

Sgt. Charlie Burton was quoted as saying that 31-year-old Cassie Townsend was babysitting the 2-year-old boy Friday and noticed that a bottle containing methadone was not where she left it. Methadone is a medication used to treat addiction to heroin and other opioid drugs.

Police say Townsend brought the boy to a local hospital because he appeared to be sick. Burton says the boy was unresponsive and later died.

Townsend was initially charged with chemical endangerment of a child. It was not known if she had an attorney.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates says toxicology tests will be performed on the boy.

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