Oro Valley resident Donna Rose Smith, 23, was arrested by police this morning on charges of First Degree Murder and Felony Child Abuse.
According to Lt. Kara Riley, a spokeswoman for the Oro Valley Police Department, police were dispatched to Smith’s home at the 13000 block of North Singh on Feb. 5 around 6:45 p.m. Upon arrival, deputies found 18-month-old Patrick Michael Smith, unresponsive.
They immediately began CPR, and the child was transported to Oro Valley Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Due to the circumstances of the death, an investigation ensued by the Oro Valley Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit and Pima County’s Office of the Medical Examiner. “Probable cause was developed to believe Donna Smith, the child’s mother, gave Patrick Smith a lethal dose of methadone,” Riley said.
Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever, similar to morphine. It also reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the "high" associated with the drug addiction.
Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs.
Riley said no other details can be made public at this time because it is an ongoing investigation, and they are working closely with the Pima County Attorney’s office.