The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

July 19, 2012

Granby woman facing charge after toddler dies from ingesting methadone pill

GRANBY, Mo. — A Granby woman is facing a murder charge in the overdose death of her toddler son who is believed to have ingested a methadone pill that she dropped in church.

Newton County sheriff’s deputies took Elizabeth A. Farnam, 33, into custody Thursday afternoon on suspicion of having caused the death last month of her 22-month-old son, Logan Crow.

Emergency responders called to the family’s home the morning of June 25 found the child deceased. Farnam and the boy’s father, Heithcliff Crow, 32, told Granby police and sheriff’s investigators that they put the child down for a nap about 4 p.m. the previous day and had not checked on him until about 10 a.m. that morning.

Sheriff Ken Copeland said an autopsy performed in Springfield on June 27 could not determine the cause of death without toxicology testing.

“The pathologist said the death would be consistent with aspiration — he thought possibly he may have choked on some milk he was drinking — or an overdose,” Copeland said.

The sheriff said that when toxicology test results came back, the cause of death became more clear: an overdose of methadone. Methadone is a prescription narcotic most often used to treat addictions to other narcotics.

A probable-cause affidavit filed in Newton County Circuit Court to support a charge of second-degree murder against the mother states that tests showed 15 to 19 milligrams of the drug in the boy’s system.

Sheriff’s Detective Mike Barnett wrote in the affidavit that Farnam admitted that she takes methadone without a prescription. She further admitted that she had obtained the drug from someone in Neosho whom she declined to identify.

Barnett also interviewed two other family members. One said he’d seen Farnam drop a pill while they were in church on June 24 with Logan sitting on her lap. She looked for the pill and could not find it, even with the help of a woman who was sitting behind them, the detective said he was told.

Later, the family was on the way home, and Logan began sweating profusely, the family member said, according to the affidavit. He helped get Logan out of the car and into the house, but the toddler was falling asleep on his feet in the living room before his parents put him down for the nap, according to the affidavit.

Prosecutor Jake Skouby said the mother was charged under the felony murder rule in Missouri.

“She drops the pill, the (boy) picks it up, eats it and overdoses because of it,” Skouby said of the theory of the crime.

The underlying felony is the mother’s alleged illegal possession of the methadone, he said.

“Had she not been committing that crime, then the child would not have got hold of the methadone,” Skouby said.

Dr. Keith Norton, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, told investigators the drug would have taken 30 minutes to two hours to get into the child’s system following ingestion. That means he would have swallowed the pill at least that amount of time before he would have died.

The affidavit does not offer an estimated time of the child’s death. Skouby said he had not seen any range for time of death in reports received from investigators other than the 18-hour period in which the parents acknowledged not having checked on the child.

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos