Louisiana woman accused of giving toddler drugs for months before overdose death

Louisiana Woman Accused Of Giving 18-Month-Old Toddler Drugs For Months Before Overdose Death

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana woman is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 18-month-old, to whom authorities allege she fed massive amounts of drugs for months before the baby overdosed.

Toxicology results on Isabelle Hidalgo showed a "fatal range for an adult" of several drugs in her system, including methadone. According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, family members said Isabelle was born addicted to methadone as her mother, Heather Marie Hidalgo, 42, underwent treatment for addiction throughout her pregnancy.

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Isabelle, who had developmental delays due to the methadone, lived with Hidalgo, her father and an adult sister in an apartment in Baton Rouge, The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported.

Hidalgo has a long history of drug addiction,

. She told investigators she’d sought treatment with methadone, a pain medication used to treat narcotic addiction, for about 15 years.

<p>Pictured in a March 2011 Street View image is the apartment building at 1917 Mariner Drive in Baton Rouge, La., where Isabelle Hidalgo, 18 months, died of a drug overdose, which investigators say happened at the hands of her mother.&nbsp;</p>

Pictured in a March 2011 Street View image is the apartment building at 1917 Mariner Drive in Baton Rouge, La., where Isabelle Hidalgo, 18 months, died of a drug overdose, which investigators say happened at the hands of her mother. 

Sheriff’s deputies were called just after 6 a.m. Feb. 15 to a home on Mariner Drive in Baton Rouge, where Isabelle was unresponsive. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians performed CPR, but Isabelle was pronounced dead at a hospital.

When the baby's toxicology tests were complete, the medical examiner called homicide detectives, Sheriff's Office officials said.

The results showed Isabelle had methadone and the generic versions of Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax in her system, investigators said. Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax are all sedating medications used to treat anxiety and other medical issues.

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"The testing further indicated that both the alprazolam (Xanax) and methadone levels detected in the victim's blood were well in excess of the 'fatal range for an adult,'" a news release from the Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators interviewed Hidalgo on March 7, at which time she said she kept methadone in the house but denied any involvement in Isabelle's death. According to the news release, she was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail on outstanding warrants that afternoon.

Detectives talked to Hidalgo again last week, at which time she is alleged to have confessed to giving her daughter the variety of drugs on a daily basis for several months. According to The Advocate, she said she gave the baby the drugs "in order to calm and comfort her."

She was rebooked into the jail on the murder charge.

In a Facebook post, Hidalgo lamented her daughter's death.

"I'm not sure why God gave me 18 months with Isabelle but it was the best 18 months of my life," she wrote. "She was the happiest baby. She always smiled just like her sister. She always laughed at everything."

She wrote that she had faith in God but was “just kind of upset with him now.”