Couple gives 2-year-old son methadone in Kool-Aid


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Carina Sonn

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 3 at 12:17 PM

PHOENIX -- A Valley couple are facing child abuse charges after their 2-year-old son overdosed on methadone in a Phoenix motel.

Phoenix police said Jennifer Campos, 25, and Anthony Casillas, 37, admitted giving their son a mixture of methadone and Kool-Aid after he had been fussy and unable to sleep because his teeth hurt. According to court documents, he was in pain due to his "bottle rotted front teeth and bleeding gums."

Casillas' friend, Misty Murphy, 34, supplied the methadone to the couple, according to the court papers. She reportedly told police that she diluted it with Kool-Aid because she felt uncomfortable giving Campos the straight methadone.

After the parents gave the boy the mixture on Oct. 23, his lips and mouth swelled and he stopped breathing.

Police said the mixture resulted in an overdose and intoxication. The boy was resuscitated by EMS and transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital where he is still recovering.

Campos said they had not sought medical treatment for their son's dental problems because they had fled from Child Protective Services. She said the agency had tried to remove the couple's three children and had cut all their medical and dental benefits.

Campos said they had been staying in various hotels since June to avoid CPS.

The toddler also tested positive for amphetamine, acetone and nicotine. Investigators said Campos and Casillas admitted they often smoked methamphetamines while on the run from CPS. They said they smoked in the bathroom of the hotel room while their children were in the main room.

Campos, Casillas and Murphy were taken into custody on Tuesday. Campos and Casillas are each charged with three counts of child neglect and four counts of child abuse. Murphy was charged with one count of child abuse.

The couple's other two children are in CPS custody.