Washing machine death in Bartlesville preceded by warnings

The Nov. 4 washing machine death of a Bartlesville infant was preceded by repeated complaints to Oklahoma Department of Human Services that rampant drug abuse by adults in the home was endangering children there, a new report reveals.
BY RANDY ELLIS rellis@opubco.com Modified: December 1, 2010 at 7:50 am •  Published: December 1, 2010
Advertisement
;

— The Nov. 4 washing machine death of a Bartlesville infant was preceded by repeated complaints to DHS that rampant drug abuse by adults in the home was endangering children there, a new report reveals.

Less than five months before 10-day-old Maggie May Trammel was found dead in a washing machine, someone contacted the Washington County Department of Human Services' office to report that a relative of the infant's mother had died of a drug overdose in the home, according to a child death review report prepared by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.

“The deceased relative was reported to have been left in the home for seven hours before law enforcement notification as everyone at the residence was ‘shooting up with speed' when the relative died,” the report said.

Lyndsey Fiddler was pregnant with Maggie at the time and had two other children, ages 8 and 5.

The report said a relative came to the home and took the two children away that day.

“An additional relative in the home wanted the children to stay there, but kept passing out from drugs while trying to argue the point,” the report said. “Lyndsey finally told the relative to take the children as she had no food in the home.”

The children were described as being “hungry and dirty at the scene.”

DHS investigated the complaint but decided the children were “safe in the home.”

DHS officials noted the home had a “red flag” regarding drug abuse but said the investigator was “unable to prove neglect or abuse of the children,” the report said.

Fiddler was charged with child neglect after Maggie's death and is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

DHS received six reports of abuse or neglect in Fiddler's home in the 20 months leading up to Maggie's death, the report reveals.

Most of the complaints concerned drug use.

Thirteen months before Maggie's death, DHS received a complaint that Fiddler and two adult relatives lived in the home and used drugs in front of the children.

Dying Too Young

Continue reading this story on the...

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.