A newly released autopsy report says 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton, died of suffocation and was left alone with a baby sitter’s pre-teen daughter, Kelli Murphy.
Murphy, now 12, “admitted responsibility” to unspecified juvenile charges in connection with the baby’s killing during a closed-door hearing in Skowhegan District Court on Wednesday.
The autopsy report lists the causes of death as asphyxia and suffocation, and classifies the manner of death as “homicide.”
Brooklyn died during an overnight stay July 8, 2012, in the Fairfield home of Amanda Huard, who was the friend and coworker of the infant’s mother, Nicole Greenaway. Later that night, Huard called 911 and told police that the baby was not breathing.
According to the autopsy report, Huard, who is referred to only as “the adult babysitter,” allowed the infant to be alone with Murphy, who was 10 years old at the time.
“The adult babysitter appears to have set up the infant’s portable crib in her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom and entrusted the infant’s care to her daughter,” according to the report, from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The autopsy report, which previously had been withheld and first was obtained Friday by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Access Act request, documented various injuries to the infant.
Traces of amphetamine, part of a medication prescribed to Murphy, were found in the baby’s system.
In addition to the amphetamine, the autopsy report documented various injuries to the infant. According to the report, Brooklyn suffered bleeding in the membrane around the brain, scrapes and bruises on her head, and tiny hemorrhages around the eye and gums.
Nicole Greenaway said Friday that she has a copy and “it tells me basically what happened to her.”
Greenaway said earlier this week that she intends to bring a civil lawsuit against Huard but would not comment further.
No charges were brought against Huard. Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes said the law does not support any criminal charges against Huard because the evidence does not show conclusively that Huard’s actions caused the baby’s death.
On Wednesday, Murphy was sentenced to supervision, counseling and treatment until she is 18, at which point the court will oversee an evaluation to determine whether the supervision period should be extended until Murphy turns 21.
Medical records show that the amphetamine found in Brooklyn’s system also was found in the system of Jaylynn Tenney, an infant who nearly died in June 2012 while living in the same house as Murphy.
Records from Maine Medical Center, which were released to the Morning Sentinel with the permission of Jaylynn Tenney’s mother, Ashley Tenney, identify Vyvanse as the drug that caused the 8-month-old to be rushed to the hospital with seizures while living in the home with Murphy.
Vyvanse is an amphetamine occasionally associated with a range of severe side effects. It is being prescribed increasingly to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a category that has grown to include nearly 1 in 10 children.
Murphy was being treated for the disorder, according to documents from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The number of children prescribed Vyvanse topped 1 million in 2011, up from 623,000 in 2008, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Vyvanse, according to the list of side effects described in federally mandated reporting, can cloud judgment and cause aggression in a small number of its users.
However, a leading expert on child pharmacology said aberrant behavior in children on Vyvanse is more likely to be caused by underlying medical disorders than the drug itself.
“Often they’ll blame the treatment when it’s actually the underlying conditions,” said Dr. Timothy Wilens, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School and director of substance abuse services in pediatric psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research on Vyvanse has focused specifically on the relationship among attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder and pharmaceuticals.
Wilens said a majority of children taking Vyvanse experience relatively mild side effects, including moodiness in 68 percent of users.
The more extreme events associated with the drug happen when a child already is experiencing significant mental problems.
Wilens said causing harm to others is not typically associated with ADHD, nor is it typical in those who take Vyvanse.
Murphy was being treated in 2012 for oppositional defiant disorder and attachment disorder, according to documents from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Oppositional defiant disorder is characterized by “a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior toward” authority figures, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.
Wilens said parents and doctors should monitor the behavior of children who are prescribed Vyvanse or any other stimulant, whether the child has been diagnosed with other conditions or not.