Local News

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

Posted March 11, 2008 4:38 p.m. EDT

— 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.