MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - A Middletown 11-month-old boy is dead and investigators say medication found around the home is to blame.
Taylor Franklin, 19, rushed her son, Gerald Passmore, Jr., to Atrium Medical Center after she believed the baby had consumed pills that had spilled onto the kitchen floor shortly before 1 a.m.
The baby, Gerald Passmore Jr. was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after arrival. Franklin gave birth to her fourth child last month and said she was taking nifedipine for high blood pressure.
Franklin told police she was outside of her apartment in the 600 block of Lafayette Avenue, smoking a cigarette with Gerald Passmore, Sr., who is the baby's father and his friend. When she returned to the apartment, her baby crawled to her and she told police she knew something wasn't right. Another adult inside the home, Keshia Callahan,said she thought the baby had ingested some pills that were on top of the microwave but had fallen onto the floor. Callahan began sweeping up the pills. Police say when investigators arrived to the apartment, the bottle did not have a child-proof cap on it.
"We are not sure how the bottle ended up on the floor of the kitchen, the bottle had been stored on a microwave oven, it was a low stand in the kitchen so it wasn't that high up, but it was up off the ground," said Lt. Walter Reeve from Middletown Police. "She was very cooperative with the detectives at the scene, of course this is an emotional situation, so we'll be calling her into the police later on, but the initial contact with her was very positive, very forthcoming. She talked freely about what happened, it's an emotional situation."
The Middletown Fire Department was called to the residence while Franklin and her friend drove to the hospital. Franklin's other children, along with Passmore Sr. and his friend were all transported to the hospital, according to police. Two of the children were transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for observation, officials said. The third child, a newborn, was released to a family member.
"I feel upset because I knew the little boy, and that's like my fiance's cousin so yeah I can't tell him nothing until he gets off work, so yeah it's like hard," said Tiffany Riley, a friend of the family.
Police went back to the scene, took surveillance photos, collected a small yellow pill on the floor and confiscated a bag full of other medication that was on the kitchen table. A detective said the microwave is on a lower level part of the kitchen.
The Warren County Coroner's Office said Tuesday afternoon that the baby died from an overdose. The coroner's office found no signs of trauma to the boy.
Police are still investigating the baby's death but have not officially charged Franklin or any other family member for his death.
Police have not released any other information at this time.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
One worker with burning hands and two others were sent to hospitals after an envelope with a white powdery substance was found at the Warren County Health and Human Services building Monday.