A Barbour County mother and father are facing charges for allegedly giving their 23-month-old daughter methadone to make her sleep. Ona Leann Delauder died hours later at the couple’s home in Belington back on March 12.
State Police charged Ida Evans Delauder, 31, and David Delauder, 38, of Belington Tuesday with death of a child by a parent.
Cpl. Andrew Loudin, with the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Task Force, says when he initially responded to the call, he had no idea the cause of death.
“What appeared to us, what we were observing that night, was a perfectly healthy looking baby. But looks can sometimes be deceiving,” Loudin said.
While there were no signs of physical abuse, Loudin says investigators treated the case like a murder, sending the body to the state medical examiner’s office and samples to the toxicology lab.
Loudin says he was taken aback when they got the results of the lab work earlier this week. The medical examiner’s report stated the toddler died of methadone intoxication.
Cpl. Loudin says that’s when he got some answers from the parents. Mr. Delauder told investigators what happened.
“The mother told him she should give the methadone to the baby, that it would either make her sleep or make her hyper,” Loudin said. “He told her not to but then an hour later he asked her ‘What did you do with that methadone?’ and she said, ‘I gave it to the baby.’ Then he didn’t do anything. He didn’t call 911 or take her to the hospital.”
When the couple woke up the next morning, Ona was not breathing. A relative who lived nearby actually was the one to call an ambulance.
Loudin says the parents purchased the methadone off the streets. The Delauder are now housed at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $100,000 bail each.
The trooper says the next step is prosecuting the parents.
“We try to all work together and try to have the best outcome. That’s to find some justice for the victim.”
Ona was born on April 28, 2011. She is survived by two brothers.