In a heartbreaking story from Tennessee, a 15-month-old toddler was discovered dead in his home while strapped into a car seat. Since then, an autopsy has confirmed the cause. What this child’s mother did, which resulted in his untimely de*ath, adds to the senselessness of this tragedy. When you think things can’t get any worse, they do.
Nicholas Crowder’s body was discovered in his Tennessee home.
Nicholas Crowder, a 15-month-old toddler, was discovered dead in his home on Butler Road in Portland, Tennessee, while strapped in his car seat. A probation officer went to the home, found it locked, and peered through a window to see a woman lying motionless on the floor and a little girl running around the house.
The probation officer “making a home visit observed an obvious medical emergency,” so 911 was dialed. According to the autopsy report, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene. Once inside, they discovered that the woman on the floor, Tiffany Spears, 32, was dead with no obvious signs of trauma.
Sadly, Spears’ 15-month-old son Nicholas was also discovered dead, but his three-year-old sister was miraculously alive, according to the New York Post. Both de*aths were ruled accidental by the medical examiner, but autopsies would reveal the devastating decision the mother-of-two made that cost her son his life.
According to the autopsy, Spears overdosed on meth and fentanyl after strapping her toddler son into his car seat. Her body was discovered on the bathroom floor, and she had been dead for several days when it was discovered. Inside the house, authorities discovered drug paraphernalia, but most tragically, Nicholas was discovered dead, strapped in his car seat on the floor of a bedroom.
Spears’ toxicology report revealed meth and fentanyl in her system, and an autopsy later confirmed what authorities suspected: the mother-of-two died of a drug overdose while at home alone with her children, leaving them with no one to care for them, resulting in the de*ath of little Nicholas Crowder.
Although it was unclear how long Nicholas had been dead before he was discovered, starvation and dehydration were determined to be his causes of de*ath. Simply put, this mother went on a drinking binge and died, leaving her 15-month-old child strapped in his car seat, starving to dea*th, but it gets worse.
Nicholas’s three-year-old sister, who was discovered alive inside the house after their mother died, appeared to have tried to care for the little boy before he died. “It appeared the decedent’s sister tried to take care of the decedent for several days,” according to the autopsy. According to the medical examiner, food, including dried eggs and eggshells, was discovered in and around his car seat.
Unfortunately, the little girl’s apparent attempts to save her brother were all in vain, and Nicholas Crowder died despite his 3-year-old sister’s best efforts. According to the Tennessean, the little girl was taken to the hospital for treatment as a precaution after running around the locked house unsupervised with her dead mother and brother locked inside with her.
As if Nicholas Crowder’s dea*th wasn’t already inexcusable, authorities said there had been other drug-related de*aths at the home, which was a rental property, but it wasn’t clear whether those de*aths were related to the current or previous tenants.
The fact that the bodies were discovered by a probation officer, on the other hand, leads many to believe that this was far from the first sign of trouble, regardless of whether the previous drug-related de*aths were related to Spears or the previous tenants.
People frequently claim that drug use is a victimless crime. However, the de*ath of Nicholas Crowder appears to prove otherwise. While the dangers of substance abuse are obvious to the user, those around them are frequently caught in the crosshairs as well, suffering the consequences of the abuser’s actions.
Substance abuse harms more than just the psychological, emotional, and physical health of those who use it. Others are also put in danger. Remember Nicholas and his sister if you have any doubts. One child died, and the other will be haunted by the nightmare she experienced. That’s hardly victimless, in my opinion.