Father charged after 1-year-old ODs on antidepressants — (Indy Star)

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Indy Star

Bill McCleery, bill.mccleery@indystar.com

May 22, 2014

A 23-year-old Southeastside Indianapolis man is charged with neglect after his 19-month-old daughter overdosed on the man’s antidepressant medication, police said.   The child survived.

Skyler Bell, 23, left an apparently open bottle of 40 mg Viibryd tablets on a nightstand in his bedroom the night of May 11, according to court documents. When Bell awoke about 8:15 a.m. on May 12, he found the girl playing with the empty bottle along with toys on the floor beside the bed. One tablet still lay on the floor, police said.

Bell delayed seeking medical help for the child because he was afraid he would get in trouble, police said. The man lives with his parents near Edgewood Avenue and Five Points Road, police said, but they already had left for work the morning of the incident.

Bell called the girl’s mother about an hour after realizing the child ingested the medication, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective said.

By that time, the child had lost control of her head and body, police said, and fallen between a mattress and a wall, getting stuck.

The girl’s mother hung up on Bell and called 911 around 9:20 a.m., police said.

“Bell said he knew the pills would affect (the girl),” IMPD Detective Nicolle Freeman wrote in a charging document, “and he knew he should have called 911 right away, but he didn’t want to be in trouble.”

The girl could have died after overdosing, doctors said, because of increased choking risk in a drugged state. When the girl appeared to go into seizures at St. Francis Hospital, she was transferred to IU Riley Hospital for Children for more advanced treatment, according to court documents.

The medication itself does not typically kill children who ingest it, however, and the girl should face no long-term consequences from the overdose, doctors said.

The child’s family has a past history with the Department of Child Services, police said, stemming from marijuana in the girl’s system at birth. She was born six weeks early, police said.

Bell was charged May 16 in Marion Superior Court with felony neglect of a dependent.

A phone message left this morning at Bell’s home was not immediately returned.

Call Star reporter Bill McCleery at (317) 444-6083. Follow him on Twitter: @BillMcCleery01.