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Texas parents charged with murder after baby dies from ingesting meth

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office

Parents in Texas face murder charges after their baby girl died from being exposed to methamphetamine, according to police.

Shawn Edward Lankford, 43, and Heather Dijon Williams, 30, were charged with murder for their alleged connection with the death of their infant child.

On March 19, 2022, first responders and deputies from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that a child was not breathing. Emergency medical services personnel were performing CPR on a female infant child. The baby was rushed to the Methodist Midlothian Medical Center. However, the baby died the same morning after “lengthy life-saving measures.”

An autopsy conducted by the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office revealed the infant's cause of death was “toxic effects of methamphetamine in an unsafe sleeping environment.”

Deputies told KWTX-TV that the baby died after ingesting meth.

After the cause of death was established by authorities, arrest warrants were issued for the parents. Lankford and Williams were arrested on June 7, 2022.

They were both booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center on a $1 million bond.

There have been at least three instances when an adult has been charged with a serious crime after a child has died after exposure to methamphetamine and fentanyl.

In January, 28-year-old Kentucky mother Shaylynn Curtis was charged with murder after her 5-month-old son died from acute methamphetamine intoxication, according to WKRN-TV.

In March, Ronald Spencer, 40, and Christy Shadowens, 48, were watching their 1-year-old niece in Tennessee. While babysitting the baby, she became unresponsive and stopped breathing. A toxicology report revealed the baby died of acute methamphetamine toxicity, according to WKRN-TV.

Also in March, John Valiquette, 24, and Andrea Smarr, 26, were charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. WESH reported that the 14-month-old boy died from drug toxicity after meth and fentanyl were found inside the child's system.

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