A third person has been arrested in the death of a DeKalb County infant who ingested 34 times the daily amount of oxycodone typically prescribed to adults.
The parents of 1-year-old Takari Wadley — 24-year-old Rachelle Rattrey and 26-year-old Tabares Tony Wadley — were arrested earlier this month on second-degree murder and second-degree child cruelty charges. Police discovered numerous prescription drug containers “carelessly” left on the floor of their home along with marijuana in an upstairs bedroom, authorities said.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office announced that the parents’ former roommate, 55-year-old Roderick Knight, was arrested in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, on Tuesday.
The baby was found unresponsive Feb. 6 when authorities responded to a 911 call at the parents’ home on Bermuda Run Court in Decatur, according to officials.
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According to the parents’ arrest warrants obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both parents said the child woke up about 7 a.m. that day. Rattrey told police she fed him formula and juice about 8:30 a.m., and Wadley said he put his son down for a nap at 9:30 a.m.
By noon, however, the child’s babysitter reported hearing a gurgling sound and saw foam coming from Takari’s mouth, the arrest warrants said. By the time authorities arrived, the baby was dead.
The cause of death was initially believed to be sudden infant death syndrome, but a toxicology report later revealed Takari had 3,400 milliliters of the opioid oxycodone in his system, officials said.
Warrants indicate the prescription pain pills the child got his hands on may have belonged to Knight.
During a search of the home in late March, police discovered several prescription bottles belonging to Knight in the parents’ bedroom, warrants show. The pills included Xanax, oxycodone and ibuprofen. Knight moved out two weeks before the search warrant was issued, police said.
“Other prescription bottles belonging to Knight were located throughout the home; most of the bottles were carelessly located on the floor,” the warrant stated.
Knight is also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He will be extradited from Louisiana to face charges.
Rattrey and Wadley remain held at the DeKalb County jail without bond, records show.
Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com