Parents arrested after infant dies of drug overdose

TAZEWELL, VA (WOAY) – On April 22, a call came in to the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office about a deceased infant.

The child was only four months old and was brought to a local hospital by his parents after he became unresponsive.

After a lengthy investigation following an autopsy, the infant’s parents were arrested just last week on July 9.

According to the case’s lead investigator Detective Sergeant Michelle Conklin, the infant was found to have drugs in it’s system. 

“Upon interviewing the parents, it was determined they had touched suboxone and then touched the baby,” Conklin said. “Charges were placed on them for child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter.” 

The parents, Kayla Nicole Stanford and Evan Ray Standford, both 28 and 30 respectively, are from North Tazewell.

They were arrested after being interviewed by the Sheriff’s Department. During the interview, they admitted to having Suboxone residue on their hands.

Detectives had to wait for the autopsy to be complete before jumping to any conclusions, which is why the arrest came so long after the act.

According to the autopsy, the infant had both suboxone and methadone in it’s system. 

“It’s a tragedy to lose a child, any child. Every person matters in this world and that baby wasn’t given a chance.”

The investigation is still ongoing. The Sheriff’s Department is collaborating with the Tazewell County Department of Social Services, Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Officer. 

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