UPDATED: Mom charged after baby dies of methadone overdose

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

JANESVILLE—Tallie J. Strommen gave a piece of a methadone pill to her daughter to get her to sleep on Christmas Day night, according to a criminal complaint filed in Rock County Court on Wednesday.

Thirteen-month-old K'Myah Strommen was found dead the next day in a Janesville apartment.

Strommen made her initial court appearance Wednesday after being arrested Tuesday. She is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

Police said Wednesday they still were trying to figure out where Strommen got the drug. She did not have a prescription for it, Janesville police Lt. Keith Lawver said.

Strommen, 23, of 722 Central Ave., Beloit, told a detective she obtained three 10-milligram tablets on Christmas Day and took all but a half tablet, according to the complaint.

“Tallie eventually stated that she bit off a piece of the half tablet left over and gave it to K'Myah … to get her to sleep,” the complaint states.

Strommen found K'Myah dead in her crib the next morning. She called police, who responded to the apartment at 16 N. Atwood Ave., Janesville, at 9:23 a.m.

K'Myah was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Strommen had arrived at the Atwood Avenue apartment, the home of an acquaintance, at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.

“She was looking for a place to stay,” Lawver said, and planned to leave the next day.

Strommen and the children had come from Beloit. Lawver said police don't know yet why she left.

It's standard procedure for an autopsy to be conducted in these circumstances, Lawver said. Toxicology tests are a standard part of the autopsy.

Toxicology results were completed Feb. 4. They showed K'Myah had a “high level of methadone” in her body, the criminal complaint states.

Strommen's other children are in protective placement through the county Child Protective Services, Lawver said.

Court Commissioner Charles Holznecht on Wednesday ordered Strommen to have contact with her children only with the approval of Child Protective Services, and she is to have no contact with any other juveniles.

Strommen is being held at the Rock County Jail on $20,000 cash bond pending her next court appearance, set for Feb. 21.

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