State News

12-Year-Old Dies of Suspected Methadone Overdose

Posted April 28, 2008

— The Department of Social Services is investigating the death of a 12-year-old boy who authorities believe died from a drug overdose.

Caleb Wayne Bevil died Saturday at WakeMed in Raleigh, three days after he was found unconscious in his Sampson County home, authorities said.

Capt. Eric Pope, of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, said an unidentified person called 911 last Wednesday morning to get help to Caleb.

"The mother was performing CPR on the 12-year-old," Pope said the caller reported. "(The boy was) not breathing, (and) his mouth and tongue were blue. And then (the caller) hung up."

Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said it appears Caleb took methadone pills. The drug is a painkiller that also is used to help heroin addicts break their drug addiction.

"The night before, the mother's boyfriend had reported his methadone had been taken from the residence," Pope said, adding that authorities were investigating how Caleb got the pills.

Caleb lived with his mother, Tina Lynn, and her boyfriend, James Hardee, and three siblings – a 16-year-old boy and girls age 8 and 2 – at 1010 Timothy Road near Dunn. The other children were in DSS custody Monday.

Hardee had a prescription for methadone, but authorities weren't sure why, Pope said.

Investigators are awaiting autopsy results before filing any charges, he said, declining to say what charges could be filed in the case.

Neighbor Jesse Phillips said deputies have visited the home next door several times to break up fights between Lynn and Hardee. He called Caleb a friendly boy who always waved at him.

"Him and this little guy (in the neighborhood) played together all the time. They were just so close," Phillips said. "I know it's just a heartbreaking thing for that little ol' boy for him to be gone."


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  • TheAdmiral Apr 28, 2008

    "If the parents were taking Methodone pills to get off of Heroine, then give them a little grace for trying to turn their life around."

    I can give them that grace, but we go back to the old statement that the ends do not justify the means.

    That kind of statement says "Well, that was ok that the 12 year old died - the parents were trying to turn their life around."

    Survey Says: XXX

    Sorry, but the parents have shown that they are irresponsible with their own life - the children should have been in DSS hands and away from them until such time that a properly licensed psychologist or Psychiatrist calls them suitable.

  • Jeff_W Apr 28, 2008

    And the Defense Attorney's wonder why law enforcement has been cracking down and charging more trafficking violations for Opiate/Opioid based prescriptions violations. This is case in point. When is the public going to wake up and realize the very serious dangers associated with Opiate based pain relievers. Let me assure you, just because they are industrially produced, does NOT mean they are safe.

    I can't wait until the NC Medical Board requires special certifications just to be able to prescribe Methadone. Or better yet, ban it all together.

  • Jh5230 Apr 28, 2008

    This is so sad. That poor little boy.

    My condolences to his family and friends. :(

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 28, 2008

    The comments about the 60's. That is so old now!!!!! IT has nothing to do with this tragedy.

  • Dayum Sessy Apr 28, 2008

    truly sad, cant imagine what this young fella must of gone thru in his short life.

  • colliedave Apr 28, 2008

    Authorities are investigating how Caleb got the pills.

    Betting his parents were heroin addicts who were not "clean and sober." If this is the case, they shouldn't have had custody of the boy. Blame DSS.

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 28, 2008

    The question is:"How did he get the pills." It is so sad that a 12 year dies in this way. It breaks my heart to read this one. We need more information. Did he find it in the home? Did a friend give it to him? God bless those loved ones in his family. I hope that the true answers will come forth soon.

  • pinkfemnc Apr 28, 2008

    Very Very sad

  • iluvwilmy Apr 28, 2008

    If the parents were taking Methodone pills to get off of Heroine, then give them a little grace for trying to turn their life around.

    A child of 12 could have found a way to get to these pills even if they were locked up...Maybe it was a suicide?

    "The children of hte children of the 60s are a MESS." -djofraleigh, During times of tragedy, it is never helpful to make hurtful statements like this.

    "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

  • rainy39 Apr 28, 2008

    Im a child of the 60s and I rarely even take headache meds, never tried or experimented with drugs and have no desire to. Its not when you were born, its alot of how you are raised. My prayers go out to those who loved and cared for this child.