Woman Charged in 2-Year-Old’s June Overdose Death in Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A Waterloo woman is in the Polk County Jail charged with child endangerment resulting in death after her boyfriend’s two-year-old son died in her care in Des Moines in June.

The Des Moines Police Department says 38-year-old Amanda Leonard-Hellum was arrested Tuesday in Waterloo and transported back to Polk County. She had been in the final stages of adopting the child at the time of his death.

Police say she was caring for two children on June 26th when she drove them from Waterloo to Des Moines. During the drive, Leonard-Hellum discovered the two-year-old male had ingested some pills that had been prescribed to her.

Police say instead of seeking medical attention she chose to monitor the child overnight. The two-year-old was discovered dead on the morning of June 27th at an apartment at 3600 E. Douglas.

Toxicology tests show the child died of an overdose from Leonard-Hellum’s medication.

The other child in her care, a four-year-old, was checked out at the hospital and there was no indication they ingested any of the medication.

Leonard-Hellum is being held on a bond of $25,000.


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