Tennessee mom died from overdose in home; child died of starvation

PORTLAND, Tenn. — A Tennessee woman found dead with her 15-month-old son earlier this year died from a drug overdose, according to autopsy results released Monday. Her son, meanwhile, died from starvation and dehydration.

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Tiffany Spears, 32, and her son, Nicholas Crowder, were found dead Feb. 9 in their middle Tennessee home of Portland, located about 35 miles northeast of Nashville, The Tennessean reported. A 3-year-old girl was found alive in the home, WBIR reported.

The autopsy, conducted Feb. 10 by Davidson County Assistant Medical Examiner Emily Dennison, ruled that Spears’ cause of death was acute combined drug toxicity from methamphetamine and fentanyl, the newspaper reported.

Crowder, who was found strapped in a car seat in one of the home’s bedrooms, died of starvation and hypertonic dehydration, WBIR reported.

“It appeared the decedent’s sister tried to take care of the decedent for several days,” Dennison wrote in the autopsy report.

Food, including eggshells and dried eggs, were found in and around the car seat, The Tennessean reported.

Dennison ruled that both deaths were accidental.

Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tim Bailey said Spears’ 3-year-old child was treated at an area hospital as a precautionary measure.

According to Spears’ autopsy, a probation officer visited the home and found the front door locked. When she looked in a window, she saw the 3-year-old child running through the home and observed Spears lying motionless on the bathroom floor, The Tennessean reported. There were no obvious signs of trauma, Dennison ruled.

According to Dennison, Spears had been dead for several days, the newspaper reported. Drug paraphernalia was found in the home.


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