State News

Tests confirm 12-year-old died of Methadone overdose

Posted June 6, 2008

— The state medical examiner confimed Friday that Caleb Wayne Bevil's death was caused by methadone.

Caleb, 12, died April 26, at WakeMed in Raleigh, three days after he was found unconscious in his Sampson County home, authorities said.

Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton reported at the time that Caleb appeared to have ingested methadone pills. The drug is a painkiller that also is used to help heroin addicts break their drug addictions.

Caleb lived with his mother, Tina Lynn Bevil, and her boyfriend, James Hardee, and three siblings.

Capt. Eric Pope, of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, said Hardee had a prescription for methadone, and authorities were investigating whether it was his pills that Caleb took.

No charges have been filed, but Pope indicated that the results of the autopsy might yield some.


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  • 1Moms_View Jun 6, 2008

    Although this story is slanted to appear that the boyfriend was a drug abuser and taking methadone for that reason, that is not the only reason methadone is prescribed. A person could be taking it for pain control also. Very sad about the little boy. WRAL shouldn't write the article to appear it is definitely due to the boyfriend's drug abuse unless they have facts to back up that claim.

    I do not know any of the people involved so I'm only stating that there are other reasons that methadone can be taken.

  • Meandmytwo Jun 6, 2008

    This is a tragedy. Praying for the family and friends.

  • Winthro Jun 6, 2008

    The names are slightly different but I am almost 100% sure I know these folks. Work associated hazard I guess you would call it. The child in question comes from a very disturbed family in the sense that by pure definition, could not be more disfunctional! Very sad in deed; no positive adult role models in his life what-so-ever. Seeing what I see at work, he boys destiny was grim. Very grim! May god be with him.

  • 19tarheel75 Jun 6, 2008

    I work with middle schoolers everyday and they amaze me and scare me with their knowledge - of everything. We may never know the whole story. And I know that severe chronic pain needs to be treated with powerful drugs. But, that being said, the pills should have a least been locked up. At least we would have some idea the length the child went to to take the pills. It won't make his mother feel any better and the rest of us don't really matter.

  • ncguy Jun 6, 2008

    To me this is no worse than having an unlocked gun in the house.

  • Arkansas Razorback Jun 6, 2008

    You can lock your medication up until you are blue in the face and a kid will still do drugs if they want to.

  • teacher-mom Jun 6, 2008

    This is indeed a tragedy. It very well may be true that more children are dying from prescription medication than street drugs. Kids will take anything; we need to keep all medications (even aspirin) locked away for safe keeping. My prayers to the family.

  • sweettee717 Jun 6, 2008

    I'm sorry to hear about the boyfriend aka stepdad. Unfortunately there is so much sickness out there and maybe this is a way to remind parents, grandparents, everyone.....keep your medicines LOCKED UP!!!

  • pebbles262004 Jun 6, 2008


  • izzybizzy Jun 6, 2008

    Don't think you all know this story!!!

    The boyfriend had been with them for a very long time...he has cancer. The boy had some problems and may have taken the drugs on his very own. It's very sad this has happened...and even the boyfriend...or stepfather as Caleb referred to suffering from the loss!!! AND at this age they can get to and reach whatever they want!!...unless behind lock and key.