Natalie Renee Russell, a 30-year-old mom of three in Phoenix, Arizona, is now the accused murderer of one of those kids, 22-month-old toddler Adalynne Russell, after the bizarre and horrifying way she responded to a potentially deadly household accident ended up taking the life of her own little girl, according to police statements reported by the Arizona Republic newspaper.
The terrible incident happened back on April 13, KNXV TV News reported, but Russell was arrested following a lengthy police investigation into little Adalynne’s death only on July 26 — once they determined that they had enough evidence to charge the mom with first-degree murder, in addition to two counts of child abuse.
— azcentral (@azcentral) August 2, 2016
Here’s what happened, according to police accounts reported in the Arizona media.
On April 14, police showed up in response to a report of a child unresponsive and not breathing in an apartment near 17th Avenue and Dunlap in Phoenix. Paramedics worked furiously to revive little Adalynne, but they were simply too late. The toddler was pronounced dead before they could even get her into an ambulance.
The following video news report contains more details about the horrific and tragic death of Adalynne Russell, and the murder charge against Natalie Russell.
When police questioned Natalie Russell, the girl’s mom, according to a KPHO-TV report, she told them that she had a bottle of methadone — a narcotic drug used to treat withdrawal symptoms in heroin addicts attempting to break their dependency — that had somehow spilled.
She tried to clean up the liquid substance, she told the investigators, but she said that Adalynne had lapped up some of the drug. However, she soon changed her story, saying that the little girl may have simply consumed the drug, drinking it from an open bottle.
A police report cited by KPHO said that Natalie Russell “recklessly left a 120 milligram bottle of liquid methadone in reach of her children.”
But even after she discovered that her 2-year-old had ingested the drug, Natalie Russell did not call 911 or take the child to seek medical attention, police said. The incident happened at around 10 p.m. that evening. At 1 a.m., Natalie Russell simply went to sleep, with her unconscious child.
But as frighteningly negligent as those actions alleged by police would have been, it’s what they say the mom did before going to sleep that is truly horrifying.
According to a witness account, the first thing that Natalie Russell did was to go on the internet and look up ways to treat a methadone overdose. But where she got the answer that she allegedly came up with remains a puzzle — and a sickening one.
The witness told police that Natalie Russell for some reason decided that the way to counteract the methadone overdose was to dose her child with methamphetamine.
“A witness reported Natalie told her that she was going to get methamphetamines to counter the effects of the methadone,” the police report states.
The report went on to say that Natalie Russell then administered a dose of methamphetamines to her 22-month-old daughter by cramming the drugs into the little girl’s rectum.
An autopsy report showed deadly levels of both methadone and methamphetamine in Adalynne Russel’s bloodstream at the time of her death.
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After their investigation, police tracked Natalie Russell down in Gilbert, Arizona, about 20 miles southeast of Phoenix, and arrested her last Tuesday, jailing her on the first-degree murder and child abuse charges.
As of Tuesday a week after her arrest, whether or not Natalie Renee Russell had retained an attorney remained unclear, according to an Associated Press report. Police describe her as an “addict” and say that she was intoxicated at the time of the incident that killed little Adalynne Russell.
[Photos via Adalynne Russell GoFundMe Page/Phoenix Police Department]