Grandmother arrested in methadone death of 1-year-old granddaughter

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—The grandmother of the 1-year-old who died from an apparent methadone overdose Dec. 26 now faces the same charge as the child's mother.

Tina M. Strommen, 51, of 1729 Sumac Court, Beloit, was arrested Monday at the Janesville Police Department.

Tina Strommen gave methadone pills to her daughter Tallie J. Strommen, police believe.

Tallie, 23, later gave a portion of a methadone pill to her daughter, K'Myah, while staying with an acquaintance in Janesville, according to a criminal complaint.

Wisconsin law allows for anyone involved in the distribution of a drug that causes a death to be charged with the same crime, said Janesville police Detective Erik Goth, who is investigating the case.

Both women face charges of first-degree reckless homicide.

Tina Strommen had a prescription for the drug, Goth said.

Tallie Strommen, of 722 Central Ave., Beloit, has told police she had obtained three 10-milligram tablets Dec. 25, took 2 1/2 of them and later bit off a piece of the remaining tablet and gave it to her 1-year-old daughter before bedtime.

K'Myah was found lifeless the next morning and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Toxicology tests completed Feb. 4 showed K'Myah had a "high level of methadone" in her body, according to the criminal complaint.

The death is Janesville's only homicide in 2013.

Tallie had told Goth she had used methadone regularly for pain, stemming from injuries sustained at childbirth, but it wasn't known whether Tina had supplied Tallie with methadone other than on Dec. 25, Goth said.

Tina Strommen was released with a March court date, Goth said.

The decision not to jail her was made in consultation with the district attorney. Goth said the decision was based on the belief that Strommen is not a flight risk and not a threat to the public.

Tallie Strommen remains at the Rock County Jail on a $20,000 cash bond.

Last updated: 11:30 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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