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Knoxville mother speaks after father accused of causing baby to overdose on heroin

The child was given two doses of naloxone and was rushed to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 9:15 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville father is in custody after his child overdosed on heroin while under his watch, a Knoxville Police Department incident report states. WVLT News spoke to the child’s mother, who commented on the event.

Jeffery Michael Thompson was arrested by the Knoxville Police Department on Oct. 13 at approximately 8 p.m. after officers were dispatched in regards to a one-year-old overdosing on what they believed to be heroin, the report said.

When American Medical Response arrived on the scene, the child had turned blue and was not breathing. Afterward, the child was given two doses of naloxone and was taken to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the report said.

The father of the child admitted to officers on the scene that he had shot up heroin in the bathroom while watching the child, according to the police report.

Thompson said he did not wash his hands following his drug use and fed the child string cheese and had touched her with his bare hands.

Shortly following the occurrence, Thompson said the child became “woozy” and sleepy. Her eyes then rolled back and she stopped breathing, according to investigators.

The mother of the child, Madeline Styles, said she was not on the scene during the incident and that the child is expected to recover.

“The thought of losing her, I really don’t know what would happen to me or her brothers. Her pure little life would have went to waste,” she said.

Styles told WVLT News that she was hopeful the infant would be discharged later Friday.

Thomas was charged with aggravated child abuse/neglect/endangerment of a child eight and under.

A referral to the Department of Children’s Services was made.

This investigation remains ongoing.

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