Mother charged in 2-year-old’s death

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

The case of a 2-year-old girl who died after ingesting medication continued Wednesday when her mother was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder.



Lakesha Lanika Riddick, 32, of Stacey Drive, also is charged with involuntary manslaughter and abuse and neglect of children, according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink. Her daughter, Destiny Riddick, died on July 17, 2011, after ingesting suboxone pills she found at the home of her step-grandmother and her boyfriend. The pills, which are used to combat opiate dependence, had been purchased on the street.

Steven Wade Bullock and Kimberly Denise Artis already have pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges and are serving prison sentences.

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In a search warrant, investigators accused the child’s mother, Lakesha Riddick, of failing to return her daughter to the hospital after she became ill.

The girl had been taken to the hospital after she was found to have ingested the pills. After three hours of observation, the girl was released to her mother, according to the search warrant, which calls the woman by the name Lakesha Artis.

“Ms. Artis was given specific instructions during the discharge from the emergency room (which she acknowledged and signed for) as to symptoms that may develop over a period of time, such as agitation, restlessness, fever, etc.,” reads the search warrant. “Ms. Artis was told if any of these symptoms developed to get the child back to the emergency room immediately. Ms. Artis stated the child displayed these symptoms after getting her back home, however Ms. Artis failed to take the child back to the hospital as instructed.”

The statement adds that the girl fell asleep at 4 a.m. and was found dead at 8:30 a.m.

“The investigation also revealed after consulting with the medical examiner, had Ms. Artis gotten Destiny Riddick back to the hospital as instructed on the evening of July 16, 2011, the child would have survived as there was lifesaving equipment available that would have been used to sustain her life.”

No court date has yet been set.