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Autopsy: Lillington toddler died from oxycodone overdose

Posted December 2, 2015

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— A 2-year-old Harnett County girl had a lethal level of the pain killer oxycodone in her system when she died last spring, but authorities don't know whether it was an accident or intentional, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.

Sasha Claire Johnson was found unconscious in bed in her Lillington home on May 22 and was pronounced dead at the scene. She had spent the previous week at her grandparents house and was acting "out of sorts" when her father picked her up on May 21, according to the report.

Although she had a heart abnormality, the medical examiner found no physical link between that and her death. Tests showed no evidence of any viral illness.

The medical examiner found oxycodone "within reported fatal ranges" in her blood, along with the pain killer acetaminophen and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, according to the report.

"In discussion with law enforcement, it was unclear as to how or why this child had oxycodone in her system (i.e., accidental ingestion or deliberate dosage by another person), and no further information was available at the time of this report. As such, the manner of death is classified as undetermined," the report states.

The Harnett County Sheriff’s office is aware of the autopsy’s findings and is awaiting a full copy for review. Investigators also have requested additional test results that are not routine.

No charges have been filed in the girl's death, but the case remains under investigation.


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  • Alex Stephens Dec 11, 2015
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    How terribly sad ...

  • Libby Lynn Dec 3, 2015
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    Thank you for this well-thought-out comment.

  • Mary Meadows Dec 2, 2015
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    It is to early to state that Cory. They have very detailed tests which can let the investigators know if there was not only oxycodone in her system, but if there were breakdowns of the drug in her system which would indicate the drug had been in her system several days. In that case the possibility exists (due to the fact that she spent the week prior with her grandparents) that she either 1. Had access to the medication and took it herself 2. Was inadvertently given the medication by an elderly individual who confused the medication or 3. Was intentionally drugged by her grandparents or someone at her grandparents home. If the tests show that the oxycodone was "freshly" administered then 1. She took it herself and it was left out where it should not have been2. her father drugged her or 3. Someone who had access to her fathers home drugged her or left their medication within her reach. Some are more likely than others but we don't have enough info to know yet. Don't assume.