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Indiana 8-Year-Old Dies After Allegedly Mistaking Dad's Meth For Cereal

Curtis Collman II allegedly woke up to find his son, Curtis Collman III, grabbing and scratching at his own face in Seymour, Indiana. 

By Jon Silman
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An Indiana father didn't call for medical help, and forcefully prevented others from doing so, even as his son was clawing at his own face after ingesting a huge amount of methamphetamine, police said.

Curtis Collman II, 41, from Seymour, is accused of neglect causing death and multiple other charges after his son allegedly ate the drug and died on June 21, according to the Indiana-based Seymour Tribune. The boy apparently mistook the drug for cereal and chowed down on the deadly drug, according to reports.

Curtis Collman III, 8, had 18,000 nanograms of meth in his system when he died, Jackson County Detective Tom Barker told the paper. Barker said he didn't know the exact amount of meth the boy ingested, but that "it's a lot."

The incident allegedly happened on the night of June 20, according to WXIN in Indianapolis. The boy woke up his dad and said he was hungry, but Collman II told the boy they didn't have any food and to go back to sleep. When he woke up again the boy was acting weird—“twitching and bouncing his face off the floor,” according to court documents. Collman II, who had full custody of the boy, tried to get control of his son but his son kept grabbing and scratching at his own face.

The father didn't call for help, according to documents, but called a friend at 10 a.m. saying there was something wrong with the boy and then went over to the friend’s house at 10:50 because the boy couldn't see. The friend said they needed to call for help, but Collman II allegedly ripped the phone away from her when she tried to call and pulled a gun, saying he would kill all three of them. The friend ran away.

At 1 p.m., Collman II was screaming and yelling hysterically, court documents said, when he took the boy to Collman II's mother's house. She also wanted to call 911, but he wouldn't let her. Eventually, someone called 911 at around 1:47, because the boy stopped breathing. Collman II left and the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.

When police found Collman II, he was arrested in June on charges of failing to register as a sex offender and taken into custody for questioning. According to ABC-WLOX, police records show that Collman II then told authorities that he woke up and witnessed his son "not acting right" and talking to his brother, who was not present at the time.

When he was questioned, Collman II told investigators his son must've gotten into the bleach or Pine-Sol, court documents said. He admitted there was meth on a plate, but he told investigators he thought he hid it.

The child's relatives were heartbroken over the situation. 

"I know we all wake up in the morning thinking about him and we go to sleep at night thinking about him," Rita Cook, the 8-year-old's grandmother, told ABC-WLOX. "He was just a good little boy."

Collman II faces 20 to 40 years for the neglect charge, according to the Seymour Tribune. He was also charged with pointing a firearm, intimidation, possession of meth, and the sex offender charge. His bond was set at $50,000 and he's expected to go to trial in December.

[Photo: Jackson County Sheriff's Office]

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