For the second time in two months, the Department of Children and Families and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office are investigating family members after a toddler is hospitalized on fears of ingesting narcotics.
The case in August involved a 1-year-old child in Daytona North, or the Mondex, where family members worried that the child had ingested methadone. The child was hospitalized and cleared. The latest case, taking place at 50 Black Bear Lane in Palm Coast, is more grave: the 18-month-old child is in an intensive care unit and appears to have overdosed on Subutex, strictly regulated a narcotic used in the treatment of individuals addicted to opioids.
The incident took place two days after the death of a 31-year-old man on Bruce Lane in Palm Coast that appear to be the result of an overdose, and again underscores the now routine recurrence of opioid overdoses in the county.
The 18-month-old boy was initially taken to Florida Hospital Flagler, then transferred to Florida Hospital Orlando, according to a sheriff’s incident report.
Sheriff’s deputies were contacted early this morning after Tara Cline, a DCF case worker was brought to the Orlando hospital. Tara told deputies that the story she was getting from the child’s mother, Megan Nichole Moss, “was not convincing and believed that information was not true,” according to the report.
According to Cline, Moss had told hospital authorities in Palm Coast that the boy “climbed onto a counter in the bathroom and had opened her medication and had chewed up on of her Subutex pills.” The DCF official told deputies she did not believe that an 18 month old infant could climb onto a counter and open a child-proof medicine container.
And in fact, the child had not done so.
Deputies took their investigation to the house on Black Bear, where they met with Lamitta Hess, 59, the long-time homeowner there and Moss’s mother. Hess said her boyfriend, 63-year-old Nicholas Thayer, and Moss had been replacing the car’s battery and washing the car when the child at some point got into a purse and took the medication.
Hess then said that she’d cooked dinner, everyone ate, and after Moss gave the boy a bath, decided to take him to the hospital because of his condition. Yet when a deputy spoke with Thayer, who lives on a boat docked in Daytona Beach, Thayer gave yet another story about how the child got his hands on the narcotic. He was at the house on Black Bear when Moss and her mother went to the store, leaving him to look after the children (the toddler was not the only child). Thayer went to the bathroom. When he came out, he noticed the child “chewing on something white and thought it might be candy.” He said there’d been no battery change in the car. Thayer later took Moss and the child to the hospital, he told a deputy.
Eventually, Moss told a deputy “she was scarred and that she wanted to tell the truth about what happened,” according to the report. She said she’d placed the children in the car with Thayer to go to a convenience store, and that as Thayer was pumping gas, she went into the store to get a drink. She then gave the boy a drink and didn’t see him with anything in his mouth at the time. But “when she got into the car she noticed [the child] chewing on a pill and noticed her pill bottle was out of her purse. [Moss] stated that there where only two pills in the bottle and believes that [the child] chewed them up and spit them out because she found pieces of the pills on the floor.”
Moss said Thayer had told her to make up the story about the children being with him so he could take the blame for whatever happened. Moss is was in Flagler County Drug Court between 2013 and November 2017.
The case from that point on was in the hands of DCF on one side and those of a sheriff’s detective on the other. The child, his mother had told deputies from the intensive care unit, had been doing better and seemed out of danger.