EDMONTON — A 31-year-old Edmonton woman has been charged with second-degree murder after her 11-day-old daughter died from an methamphetamine overdose.
Michelle Rice was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree murder.
Police spokesman Scott Pattison called the case "horrific."
“We all have children," he said at a news conference. "Those are traumatic events, especially when it’s an 11-day-old child. Investigators are working on behalf of someone who is vulnerable and unable to defend themself.”
Police were called to a home on March 29 for a report of a baby not breathing. The medical examiner’s office contacted police on April 6 after autopsy and toxicology tests confirmed the baby died from a lethal dose of the drug.
“The medical examiner has stated that there are two ways that the baby could have ingested the methamphetamine; that’s either anally or orally,” Pattison said.
“Our understanding (from the medical examiner) of that level of methamphetamine, that couldn’t have been administered — that lethal dose — through a woman’s breast milk, specifically.”
Pattison said Rice is a single mother who is “currently in a relationship.”
“She has a young boy who is unharmed and is now in the care of another family member,” he said. “I believe he’s with the biological father.”
The woman was not known to police, Pattison said. He wasn’t able to say whether Children’s Services was involved with the family.
Homicide detectives would like to speak with several other people who visited the residence in the 11 days prior to the baby’s death.
“We’re not sure exactly who visited the house but we’re assuming they were family friends, possibly family members," Pattison said. "There may have even been home-care workers, that kind of thing."