Family Crimes

Woman Allegedly Killed Her Son By Putting Vicodin In His Sippy Cup

The boy, who police believe had died hours earlier, was found lying in bed with his mother, who was bleeding from self-inflicted cuts to her wrists, according to authorities. 

A woman is accused of killing her 2-year-old son by putting Vicodin in his sippy cup.

The Bucks County District's Attorney's Office has charged Jennifer A. Clarey, 42, with criminal homicide after police say they found Clarey, bleeding from self-inflicted cuts on her wrists, laying on a bed next to the body of her dead son, Mazikeen Curtis.

"It goes beyond a terrible tragedy," District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said during a news conference. "This was clearly a murderous act."

Bucks County Children and Youth Services went by Clarey's home just after 10 p.m. on the night of Aug. 25 to do a welfare check at the home but they found the boy's mother appeared "intoxicated" and "wasn't cooperating," according to the affidavit of probable cause.

They alerted police, who arrived just before 10:30 p.m. that night but repeated knocks on the door went unanswered. After a police officer was able to get access to a key to the home, he entered and found Clarey and her son on a bed that was covered in blood.

The boy "showed no signs of life, was stiff and cold to the touch," the affidavit said. Prosecutors believe the boy had been dead "a number of hours" by the time the body was discovered, according to a statement they released about the incident.

Clarey was taken to a hospital where she received medical treatment for her wounds which "appeared self inflicted," according to the affidavit.

A man, whose relationship to the mother or child isn't clear, left the house earlier that day around 8:30 a.m. and said the child was alive and was watching television.

Investigators believe some time after that, the 2-year-old ingested a large quantity of hydrocodone, which is commonly used in Vicodin, that had been put in his sippy cup.

While no obvious signs of injury were visible on the child, a later autopsy revealed his brain appeared "swollen and dusky" which can occur during an overdose, police said. He was also found to have a lethal level of hydrocodone and diphehydramine, the ingredient found in Benadryl, in his blood stream.

During a search of the home, prosecutors said police found an empty bottle of Bendaryl in a trash can as well as an empty prescription bottle for 120 Vicodin pills that had been prescribed to Clarey seven days before the boy's death.

The bottles of medicines both had childproof caps and the prosecutors allege that there was no reason why the boy should have been taking Vicodin.

"Plain and simple, this was a murder, and the weapon was the pills that came from this bottle," Weintraub said, according to a statement from prosecutors.

Clarey is being held without bail at the Bucks County Correctional Facility. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Clarey also has an older child but investigators have not said whether Clarey had custody of that child at the time of the younger boy's death.

[Photos: Bucks County District Attorney]

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