Mom accused of giving teething baby ‘lethal dose’ of Benadryl

Posted at 10:13 AM, Dec 12, 2013

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Louisa mother was arrested and charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Abuse and Neglect after lab results determined her six-month old child Tyler Firth died from a lethal dose of Benadryl, Louisa County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Sims wrote in an email.

Tristan T. Goodwin, 31, was arrested Dec. 4.

"I don't think she meant to do it," Brian Firth, the infant's father, told CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown. "I know Tristan better than anyone else in this world including her own family."

Sims said investigators spent nearly a month looking for Goodwin after her Nov. 6 indictment.

"She has been cooperative. She's been very upset about this. She has shown that she's very upset which is why we don't believe she intentionally tried to harm or kill her baby it was just a poor decision. That is why the charge is involuntary manslaughter," Sims said.

The child's March 19 death was originally believed to be sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Sims said. However labs results showed otherwise.

"Lab results indicated a lethal dose of Benadryl and high levels of Tylenol present in the baby's body," Sims said. "Subsequent to the lab analysis detectives submitted additional items for forensic testing."

Firth said Tyler was teething and had a runny nose when Goodwin gave him the medication.

"She said she gave Benadryl to her other babies and I told her she's damn lucky it didn't kill the other kids," he said.

Goodwin will remain locked up at the Central Virginia Regional Jail pending a Dec. 16 court date. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

When EMS responded to the home, along the 1500 block of Roundabout Rd., they found Tyler not breathing. He was pronounced dead on arrival at UVA Hospital.