Lawrence mom charged after child dies from taking painkillers - KCTV5

Lawrence mom charged after child dies from taking painkillers

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A Lawrence woman was charged Thursday in connection with the death of her son after the preschooler ingested painkillers.

Rebecca Wynne, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering a child. Her son, Joey, died in late April.

"The victims are all children of the defendant," according to a news release from Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson. "An autopsy report revealed the 5-year-old child died from ingesting opiates."

Authorities declined to say exactly what type of opiate or where the death occurred.

This occurred the evening of April 27.

The surviving children, who are ages 6 and 4 years old are now in the care of a maternal relative.

KCTV5's Betsy Webster traveled to Lawrence where she spoke with Wynne's mother and neighbors.

"We lost our child. We lost our baby. It doesn't get any harder than that," the sobbing grandmother said. "It was a horrible, horrible accident. We all paid the ultimate price."

The distraught woman, who KCTV5 is not identifying, was shaking and crying throughout the interview. Her eyes were red rimmed.

She said her daughter would never intentionally hurt her children. She said her daughter was house sitting for her when she put the children to bed. She said the boy just wouldn't wake up and she didn't know why.

The grandmother said her daughter didn't know what killed the boy until they received the autopsy results. She said her daughter then entered a 90-day rehab program because she was addicted to prescription pain pills.

Wynne was released from the rehab program Wednesday morning. She was arrested later that day.

Neighbors told Webster that the three children were well supervised by their mother when they were outside riding their bikes and playing. Neighbors said the children appeared to be happy and loved.

"They would ride their bikes down the street. The parents were always with the kids," neighbor Vickie Goetz said. "It's just been a real tragedy. I'm very sorry for the parents and the whole family.

"I never saw anything that resembled recklessness."

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