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Autopsy Finds Nicotine in 11-Month-Old's Remains

Posted March 11, 2008

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— An 11-month-old girl whose remains were found in her mother's attic last fall had nicotine in her system, according to a recently released toxicology report.

Authorities found the body of Harmony Jade Creech on Oct. 20 in the attic of the home her mother, Johni Michelle Heuser, was renting in Spring Lake. The baby had been wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed in an empty diaper box in a corner of the attic, authorities said.

Tests conducted by the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill detected the presence of nicotine in the child's system. The report didn't indicate how the chemical might have gotten into her system.

Heuser, 25, of 1680 Ray Road in Spring Lake, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case. She told investigators that she found the baby dead in her crib weeks earlier and hid the death out of fear.

When the child's father, Sgt. Ronald Creech II, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, returned from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, Heuser claimed the baby had been abducted, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.

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  • mom2threecld Mar 13, 2008

    sidekick...no, she would have had to ingest it by some means either by being feed a tobacco product, a nicotine patch, etc.

  • CarolinaGirl25 Mar 11, 2008

    It just breaks my heart to see little Harmony's picture. It hurts me so much to know that that there are people out there who harm innocent children. I love my son more then anything in this world and would never do anything to harm him in any way. I hope this woman gets what she deserves!!

  • katgoesloco Mar 11, 2008

    Nicotine has been used as a poison in the past. If a baby chewed on a cigarette or a tobacco leaf, it might cause death.

  • Fuquay Resident Mar 11, 2008

    I'm thinking maybe there was a high level of nicotine in Harmony's system, that's why there was an issue.

  • Sidekick Mar 11, 2008

    Let's see if we can sort this out. The baby was breathing. There were smokers in the house. The baby breathed the air with the smoke. There you go! I figured it out.