Death Investigation of a 15 month-old child.

(Darlington, MD) — Harford County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the death of Ashton Timothy Preston, 15 months old, of the 2600 block Castleton Road, Darlington who died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Thursday December 16th.

Deputies were called to the 2600 block of Castleton road on Wednesday evening at approximately 8:00pm after the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company had responded for an infant in cardiac arrest. Detectives were told the 24 year-old mother, and her son, were living with a family on Castleton Road. The mother of the child was a heroin addict and had been prescribed doses of liquid methadone for her addiction. It is believed that sometime during the day the mother poured one of the doses into a Mickey Mouse cup and then placed the cup back into a kitchen cabinet. At approximately 5:30pm the child asked for a drink. The owner of the home saw the cup in the cabinet and reportedly mistook it for juice and gave it to the child. Approximately an hour later the mother realized the child had been given methadone but stated the child appeared fine and did not call 911. Everyone in the home reportedly had fallen asleep and upon waking at approximately 7:15pm saw that the child “was not looking right” and called 911. The child was not breathing and a member of the home then began CPR until the arrival of paramedics. Members of the Darlington Volunteer Fire Department treated the child at the scene and then transported him to the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. He was later transported by helicopter to the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he died at 1:30am the next morning.

The child’s body was removed to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy. Names of the mother and family are being withheld at this time. Police are continuing their investigation and will be reviewing this case with the Office of the States Attorney for Harford County to determine if any charges will be filed.

Press Release

December 17, 2004