Authorities say a rural Jackson County woman killed a toddler in her care by giving the girl a combination of the prescription painkiller Oxycodone and the antihistamine Benadryl.
Amanda M. Butts, formerly of Osseo, was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 22-month-old Alexis Behlke, her boyfriend’s daughter.
Butts, 22, initially denied giving the girl anything but children’s Tylenol after bringing her to an Osseo hospital where she was pronounced dead early June 22. The girl had bruises and cuts on her face and forehead, according to the complaint filed in Trempealeau County Circuit Court.
Butts, who cared for the girl while her boyfriend was at work, told police she had been whiny all day and wouldn’t sleep. She said the bruises were caused when she attempted to remove a piece of peanut butter sandwich from her mouth.
The Dane County medical examiner determined Behlke died from the combined effects of Oxycodone and the antihistamine diphenydramine as well as amitriptyline, an antidepressant, according to the complaint.
His autopsy also revealed fractures in the girl’s left wrist as well as blood in her ear canals, which together are “consistent with assaultive, inflicted injury.”
Behlke’s siblings told investigators they saw Butts throw the girl to the floor and push a pill down her throat, and that they saw her throw up, according to the complaint.
Butts later admitted to investigators that she gave the girl one of her prescription Oxycodone pills, though she denied giving her Benadryl or amitriptyline. Butts said she put Behlke in the bathtub and ran cold water in an attempt to revive her and the bruises on her face were a result of CPR efforts.
Osseo Police arrested Butts Thursday at her new address in the town of Garfield in Jackson County with assistance from the Trempealeau and Jackson County sheriff’s departments.
Butts remains held in Trempealeau County Jail on a $200,000 cash bond. She is scheduled to return to court Monday for a preliminary hearing.