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Grandmother Charged With Murder Of Child After Using Methadone On His Gums

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A Baltimore woman is charged with murder after police say she gave a powerful drug to her two grandchildren.

Monique Griego has more on this disturbing case.

Both of the children were toddlers. Police say their grandmother gave them methadone because she wanted them to go to sleep.

Towanda Reaves, 50, stands accused of murder and child abuse. Baltimore police say she gave her grandchildren methadone--a powerful narcotic.

The 19-month-old little boy, identified as Aadyn Overton, died of an overdose.

"I didn't know what had happened at first when the baby had died. I said, 'Oh my God, he was just out here playing,'" a neighbor said.

Police say it happened on the Fourth of July while the kids were visiting Reaves at her apartment on North Forest Park Avenue.

Neighbors tell WJZ they thought the kids were exposed by accident. But police say Reaves admitted she gave it to them so they would go to sleep.

"She confirmed that she had given methadone to the children and put it on the gum lines of their mouths," said Det. Jeremy Silbert, Baltimore City Police.

Methadone is given to addicts to help them detox from drugs like heroin. It can also sometimes be prescribed as a painkiller.

"It would definitely kill them. It's potent. A very strong mixture. It would kill some adults," said Darryl Jordan, neighbor.

Those who knew Reaves are shocked by what happened. By all accounts, they say she was a doting grandmother.

"She really took care of them. As far as I can see, she wasn't a bad person," a woman said.

The 17-month-old little girl was taken to the hospital, but was later released and is expected to be OK.

Neighbors are now left wondering how Reaves could do something so dangerous.

"As a grandmother myself, I just can't imagine it. I just can't imagine," a woman said.

Reaves is facing several charges, including second-degree murder and child abuse.

Neighbors tell WJZ the children were visiting and didn't live in the home.

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