BARTLESVILLE â€” 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.
â€œThe deceased relative was reported to have been left in the home for seven hours before law enforcement notification as everyone at the residence was â€˜shooting up with speed' when the relative died,â€ 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.
â€œAn additional relative in the home wanted the children to stay there, but kept passing out from drugs while trying to argue the point,â€ the report said. â€œLyndsey finally told the relative to take the children as she had no food in the home.â€
The children were described as being â€œhungry and dirty at the scene.â€
DHS investigated the complaint but decided the children were â€œsafe in the home.â€
DHS officials noted the home had a â€œred flagâ€
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.
â€œIt was further reported that the adults passed out from drug useâ€ and that Fiddler's 5-year-old child had walked down to the end of the road without the adults knowing the child was gone, the report said.
DHS was told Fiddler earlier had slapped the 8-year-old, leaving a bruise on the child's face.
The DHS employee who investigated the complaint reported â€œhigh red flagsâ€ regarding drug use by Fiddler and other adults in the home â€œdue to their behavior and Ms. Fiddler's positive drug screening.â€
â€œHowever, the children did not report any knowledge of drugs,â€ the report states.
â€œThe children appeared clean, appropriately dressed and developmentally on target.â€
DHS received another complaint in April after Fiddler was arrested on drug possession, the report shows.
â€œAllegedly, Lyndsey Fiddler tried to smuggle drugs into the jailâ€ and had â€œoutstanding warrants when arrested,â€ the report states.
DHS â€œscreened outâ€ the report as not being child abuse or neglect.
The month before Maggie was born, DHS received a complaint that Fiddler was â€œtaking prescription drugs to the point of not being able to walk down stairs.â€
That complaint also was screened out as not being child abuse or neglect.
DHS received another complaint on Oct. 25 â€” the day Maggie was born. The complaint alleged that Lyndsey Fiddler had given birth and had used drugs throughout her pregnancy.
DHS investigated and reported â€œall children were safe and that Lyndsey Fiddler was willing to work on parenting services.â€
DHS reported interviewing nine witnesses and said its assessment still was open at the time of Maggie's death.
â€œWe are deeply saddened by the tragic death of this child,â€ DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell wrote in a statement
â€œOKDHS will be providing a summary of our involvement regarding the child's death. We will also conduct a thorough review of OKDHS involvement using the critical incident review process.â€