Chandler Mother Charged With Murder After Toddler Dies of Methadone Overdose

Chandler Mother Charged With Murder After Toddler Dies of Methadone Overdose

A Chandler mother was chargedwith murder and child abusethis week after her two-year-old child died of a narcotics overdose last year, according to the Chandler Police Department. On April 14, 2020, around 8 a.m., police responded to a home where they found a two-year-old girl unresponsive. The child was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.

The mother, who police identified as 31-year-old Shaed Bowen (court documents spelled her name both Shaed and Shae'd Bowen), stated that her daughter must have obtained an empty bottle of her methadone, a narcotic used for pain relief and to treat addiction, from the trash the night prior, police said.

An autopsy revealed that the child died from a methadone overdose, according to the police report.

Police also found and transported Bowen's seven-year-old daughter to the hospital as she appeared to be suffering from methadone intoxication, police said.

Bowen stated that she never gave her children methadone and that she always secured the bottles in a lockbox that only she had access to. She also claimed her youngest child couldn't open the bottle, insinuating that her other child must've opened it, police said. Bowen stated that she would give her kids melatonin to help them sleep and that her youngest child was acting "fussy" the night before her death. She did observe her youngest child messing with the bottle in the trash, but did not suspect methadone intoxication, police said.

Bowen informed police that she had not been taking as much as she usually does and that her kids would not drink the medicine because of its "nasty taste," according to the police report. A search of the house located a full dose bottle of methadone unsecured in a drawer decorated with "Hello Kitty" in the bedroom that Bowen and her children shared. A total of 19 sealed bottles were discovered in the house, police said.

Police contacted the clinic where Bowen obtained the medication and found that the clinic has strict protocols. The bottles were supposed to be kept in a lockbox and Bowen should keep the empty bottles and return them to the clinic in order to receive a new dose, which contradicted what police discovered, police said.

Police provided several bottles to the seven-year-old to try to open. The child was unable to open any of the safety caps. She also revealed to police that her mother would give the children "obedience" medicine at night. The oldest child did not say if her sister opened the bottle but did say that she stopped her sister from continuing to mess with the bottle, police said.

A toxicologist tested the remaining fluid in the empty bottle and the amount of methadone in the children's blood level. The report concluded that the children had a greater dose of methadone than was possible from a drop in the empty bottle, making Bowen's story impossible, police said. It was not clear why Bowen was arrested more than a year after the child's death, and Chandler police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bowen is being charged with second-degree murder and child abuse. She is set to appear in court for her next hearing on July 14, according to court documents.

Michael Donohue