Sunday, March 25, 2018

"Toddler died of drug overdose after parents left her over 22 hours. Many unanswered questions remain"

Logan Starliper was found dead of a drug overdose after her parents left her alone for a day.(Photo: Obituary, (Chambersburg, Pa.) Public Opinion)
Twenty-two-and-a-half hours.

That's how long state police said a Greencastle, Pa., couple waited before checking on a 3-year-old daughter. Police said Brittany Higgins' daughter was put to bed at 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 5. The mother's boyfriend "peeked" in about 12 hours later, and later told police he believed the child was sleeping. But it was not until 9 p.m. the next night that they walked into the bedroom to make sure she was alright. By then, toddler Logan Starliper was dead. 

Now, Higgins and Brian Bennett, Higgins' boyfriend, are charged with third-degree murder and four other felony counts related to the girl's death. Both are 29 years old. 

An autopsy and toxicology testing found that Starliper died from an overdose of methamphetamine and buprenophrine. In technical terms, her cause of death was "mixed substance toxicity." 

Other evidence of neglect was visible. Starliper's body had "discoloration" around the mouth, both eyes and cheeks, police said in court documents. Initial interviews with Higgins and Bennett failed to reveal the cause of these marks, police said. 

Interviews with family, friends and neighbors revealed an outline of abuse and neglect on Starliper for at least six months, police said. Friends and family described seeing "mysterious" bruises and large marks on Starliper. Police also found evidence that Higgins and Bennett had communicated about physically abusing the girl and another child, according to court documents.

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Maybe if some of those family, friends, and neighbors who noticed marks on Logan had said something to the authorities, she'd be alive today.  How can someone treat a child like a sack of meat?  The only upside here is that Logan will no longer be attacked.

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