2 charged after child dies with high levels of meth in her system
A 10-year-old girl had high levels of meth in her system when she died last year, and the Elkhart County prosecutor announced that two people have been charged in connection with her death.
The unnamed child died in Elkhart on June 9, 2018.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Elaine Becker announced Thursday that 30-year-old Erica Reschke and 34-year-old Brandon Hobbs, of Cassopolis, were charged in connection with the death.
Investigators determined that Reschke was hired to clean out a home while the owner was out of town. Hobbs brought the child and the girl's 9-year-old sibling to a home in Elkhart County for the evening. Both children were on the autism spectrum and required intensive supervision by caregivers.
Reschke and Hobbs both reportedly described the home as a "hoarder house" due to its level of disarray.
Homicide investigators learned that the 10-year-old had apparently ingested meth brought to the home by Reschke, where both children could have had access to it. A detective also said he saw possible marijuana and unsecured firearms cases in places the children could access.
Reschke first denied to police any knowledge of the meth but a month later admitted she’d bought it from someone in Michigan, brought it to the home, hid it from Hobbs and forgot where she’d put it.
Detectives don’t think Hobbs brought the meth into the house.
The couple says that on the night of June 8, the 10-year-old began vomiting, and by the next morning, she was not breathing. Reschke called 911 as Hobbs performed CPR.
The girl's autopsy determined she died from methamphetamine toxicity and bowel obstruction. In addition to autism, the 10-year-old showed signs of pica, a disorder causing a person to eat nonfood items. Though not medically diagnosed, the medical examiner found pennies, wood, plastic and other objects in her body.
Reschke allegedly admitted the meth should never have been in the same room as the 10-year-old, given concerns of the picalike behavior.
Reschke has been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony, and one count of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony. She faces a maximum penalty of 42 1/2 years at the Indiana Department of Correction.
Hobbs has been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony. He faces a maximum penalty of 2 1/2 years at the Elkhart County Correctional Complex.
Both suspects have been before a magistrate judge for an initial hearing. They are scheduled for a plea hearing April 18, and a trial date has been scheduled for May 6.