August 11, 2022

East Haven children Aleisha Moore and Daaron Moore die from antihistamine

EAST HAVEN >> The two children found dead in an East Haven home in June died of acute diphenhydramine poisoning, police said Wednesday.

Deputy Police Chief Ed Lennon said the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office told police on Tuesday that Aleisha Moore, 6, and Daaron Moore, 7, had died from the drugs, which is found in many over-the-counter medications.

The mode of death of the two children has been classified as homicide, Lennon said in a press release.

The children were found dead on June 2 in their home at 541 Strong St.

Their mother, LeRoya Moore, 36, is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of reckless first degree endangerment in connection with the deaths of her children.

Moore and the children were found in a house filled with natural gas the day after LeRoya Moore’s birthday. According to state court records, she is scheduled to appear July 27 in New Haven Superior Court in connection with the case.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to treat symptoms of an allergic reaction and motion sickness, according to the Yale Medical Group. It is an active ingredient in drugs such as Benadryl.

Victoria Richards, associate professor of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University, said people are increasingly using drugs containing diphenhydramine as sleeping pills because drowsiness is one of its side effects.

“One of the side effects is that you get very drowsy, but it’s clinically indicated for allergies,” she said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Richards said it would take a large dose of the drug to kill someone, although she also said the drug, like others, can have amplified effects in children due to their age and condition. physical size.

“A little bit might work (to relieve allergy symptoms) in a child, but obviously a lot could be exaggerating these side effects,” she said.

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, diphenhydramine overdose deaths are rare and people are likely to recover if they are treated and survive the first 24 hours after taking it.

Neither police nor the medical examiner gave details on Wednesday about the amount of diphenhydramine given to the Moore children.

Lisa Rebeschi, chair of the nursing department at Southern Connecticut State University, said a typical dose for young children is around 12.5 milligrams.

She said research shows that deaths from diphenhydramine are generally dose-dependent and involve a dose of around 1 gram, or 1,000 milligrams.

“It really has to be a high dose,” said Rebeschi, who is also a pediatric nurse.

She agreed that poisoning caused by the drug is rare and said that it is more common for parents to misuse the drug as a sedative, to put their children to sleep, or to be more relaxed before an airplane flight, for example.

“It would be considered abuse,” she said. “It’s really giving this medicine for something it wasn’t intended for.”

Even when diphenhydramine is given in normal doses to treat allergy symptoms, people with certain conditions such as hypertension should be careful because the drug affects the functions of the cardiovascular, respiratory and central nervous systems.

“Certainly, when administered in a poisonous and poisonous manner, it would have profound effects on these systems,” Rebeschi said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

The police update comes about five weeks after the children were found dead and the mother injured in their home in a small, quiet neighborhood just off Route 80 near the New Haven Line. The chief medical examiner’s office had said the search for a cause of death could have taken six to eight weeks due to the need for toxicology tests.

Citing the ongoing criminal case against LeRoya Moore, police declined to comment further on the discovery of the cause of death on Wednesday. Police had previously said they did not need a cause of death to charge Moore with the deaths of her children because other evidence in the case so strongly pointed to a murder charge.

Moore was placed under surveillance after her arrest and was removed on June 24. A public defender has been appointed for her and she is being held in lieu of a $ 2 million bail.

Police found the dead children and their “discouraged” mother in the Strong Street home at 2:41 p.m. Authorities attended the home after a distraught friend of Moore called 911 to say Moore had him. sent a letter saying she was going to kill herself.

During a 911 call issued by police, the sobbing woman said Moore told her the children were inside but she couldn’t see them and couldn’t get in because the door was locked.

The unidentified woman said Moore called her and told her that she had cut herself but couldn’t make out much more because Moore was “speaking very low”.

Moore was first taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with injuries to her arms. Three police officers also had to be treated for being exposed to an active gas leak in the house.

Three days after the discovery of Strong Street, dozens of people attended a candlelight vigil on East Haven Green to remember the children who attended school in New Haven. The father of the children, Bridgeport resident Michael Moore, thanked everyone who attended. He asked that people keep the family in their prayers.

Hundreds of people mourned the children at their funeral in New Haven two weeks after their discovery.

LeRoya Moore has been charged in connection with the June 10 deaths. Police said the children had died “for an extended period” before police found them fully clothed on a blanket on the floor of the house.

In the arrest warrant, police said Moore told the first officers that she injured the children. With the help of Southern Connecticut Gas Co., investigators determined that the gas leak in the house was intentionally ignited.

Police found a note at the children’s feet with a signature matching LeRoya Moore’s in which the writer said they “could no longer leave my children in the system.”

“They were in pain and now they are in Heaven,” the letter reportedly said. “They shouldn’t be left to anyone because I’m the only one who can love them like a mother. Neither an institution nor a social worker.

The letter said that the author and the children had recited the Our Father “to protect their souls”.

Experts have said that the act of a parent killing their child, known as filicide, is tragic but not uncommon. Lauren Sardi, assistant professor at Quinnipiac University, previously said homicide is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14.

Sardi said parents who kill their children usually express altruistic intent, saying the murder was committed for the benefit of the child.

Journalist Esteban Hernandez contributed to this story.