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27-year-old Milwaukee mother facing child neglect charges after toddler overdoses on methadone

Courtney Starck

MILWAUKEE -- A 27-year-old Milwaukee woman is facing one charge of child neglect causing great bodily harm after her 21-month-old son ingested methadone from a syringe she allegedly left out in a spot he could get at and overdosed.

According to a criminal complaint, 27-year-old Courtney Starck admitted to obtaining a syringe of methadone and leaving it on a shelf just above a kitchen table in an apartment near S. 51st and Plainfield Saturday, March 4th. She told investigators because she doesn't have a prescription for it, she buys it off the street.

S. 51st and Plainfield

Around 8:00 p.m., Starck said she saw her son on the kitchen table with the syringe. When she went to take it from him, she saw liquid on the floor and on the table so she "assumed he didn't ingest any." Starck's then put the child down to sleep.

Starck told officials around 9:45 p.m., she checked on the boy and noticed his lips were turning blue, his skin pale and he wasn't responding to her.

Prosecutors say Starck's boyfriend called 911 and first responders used Narcan to revive the child.

"It's a very, very strong chemical," said AODA Clinical Supervisor and Psychotherapist, Morgan Steinbrecher.

Morgan Steinbrecher, with the West Milwaukee Comprehensive Treatment Center, works with recovering addicts who use methadone for treatment.

"To be ingested in anyone's body would be dangerous," said Steinbrecher.

Court records show Starck is not currently in custody. She was supposed to be in court Friday, but did not appear. FOX6 News also stopped by her home -- no one answered.

Starck has been summoned to make her initial court appearance Thursday, March 16th. If convicted, she faces more than 12 years behind bars.