There are things in this world that are taboo everywhere, one would think that feeding your child a highly dangerous narcotic would fall on this list, but apparently not to 27-year-old Rachel Ball and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Joshua Bennett in Kingsbury, NY. Both have been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and assault of 13-month-old Kayleigh Cassell after the baby died from ingesting heroin and cocaine.
There have been many stories where a child accidentally gets into the drugs or a mother will breastfeed shortly after taking the narcotics, but to intentionally feed your child the drugs is just inhumane. This only goes to show what long term use will do to a person’s brain; things that you would never normally even consider become natural.
When taking drugs they first attack the part of your brain that’s responsible for your morals and values. The more drugs you take, the more connections that are lost, the only thing that starts to matter is the next high. As seen, this can be fatal for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Though they couldn’t be charged with intentionally killing the baby, the charges claim they had “depraved indifference to human life.” Police believe that the couple had been intentionally giving the child the drugs but don’t have enough evidence to support this claim.
After the drugs take over the frontal lobe, they move to the mid-brain that’s responsible for the reward pleasure feedback, memory, and emotional processes. If the mother had been taking the drugs as long as police believe than it’s more than possible for the drugs to have affected this part of the brain. this could explain why the mother had no emotional reaction to the death of her child. It is possible that she wouldn’t have felt responsible and the connection between mother and child would have been non-existent. By no means does this excuse her from the death, but it does explain what may have been going on in her brain long before the death even occurred.
They are both being charged with tampering with evidence after allegedly giving the baby a bath and changing both her diapers and clothes after she was already deceased.
Dr. Micheal Sikirica, the forensic pathologist, said that Cassell died of pneumonia and respiratory failure. From his professional experience, the pneumonia resulted from months of exposure to the drug.