The father of a 21-month-old toddler who unexpectedly died in March was in custody Wednesday and faces a charge of injury to a child/omission in the death of his daughter.
Tests determined that Haven Smith took a lethal dose of methadone. Her father, Daniel Smith, 31, of Bedford, admitted he is a heroin addict who uses methadone for treatment.
The little girl died March 3 at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, and there were no signs of foul play. But investigators were alerted May 5 that the child had had died from a high level of methadone in her body, and her death was ruled a homicide.
An investigation showed Smith was the only adult with his daughter in the hours leading to her death on March 3.
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Police did not release any information on Wednesday on how the little girl was able to ingest the methadone. Smith told detectives that there was no methadone in his Bedford home.
Detectives learned May 14 that Smith had been admitted to a Dallas psychiatric hospital after taking a mixture of heroin and Lunesta in an attempt to kill himself, police said.
A four-page arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Wednesday provided these details about the case:
Patrol officers responded to a death investigation involving Haven Smith on March 3 in the 900 block of Wade Drive. When they arrived, officers learned that the toddler had been taken to Cook Children’s, where she died.
Haven Smith had been in the house with Daniel Smith, his wife Heather Smith and a 5-year-old sibling.
Daniel Smith told detectives he had fed his daughter cereal and some fruit, and put her to bed. Daniel Smith went to sleep with his daughter, telling detectives he had done that because she did not sleep well and would wake up several times during the night.
At some point during the night, Daniel Smith woke up, found his daughter unresponsive and alerted his wife, who called 911.
After getting the homicide ruling from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office earlier this month, detectives learned that Daniel Smith had spent time in prison for drug violations including possession of heroin.
In interviews with police, Heather Smith said there was no methadone in the home, and could not explain how the drug had gotten in her child’s body. She stated that the only thing out of the normal routine on March 3 was that her husband took Haven with him when he walked the dog.
“He stated that at the time he put her to bed she was acting normal,” said Det. Glen Hlavinka in the warrant.
But a detective explained to Daniel Smith that if his daughter had ingested methadone while in his truck or while on the walk with their dog, he should have been able to see the effects.
Daniel Smith could not explain how his daughter was able to ingest methadone.
“He stated that he was not currently prescribed methadone, and was not currently taking the medication,” Det. Hlavinka stated in the warrant.
Daniel Smith remained in the Bedford City Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763