Negligent handling of illegally held prescription led to child’s death

Just after 5:00 p.m. this evening, the grandmother of 15-month-old Oliver Kevin Aitken was booked into the St Johns County Detention Facility after she told police that she placed methadone from another person’s prescription into the child’s prescribed allergy medication bottle, then unknowingly gave it to her grandchild.

The death occurred on December 22, 2018, at the home of 59-year-old Brett Taylor Aitken who resides at 940 Cypress Road in Saint Augustine.  Upon investigation, Major Crimes Unit deputies ruled the incident a suspicious death.  Further investigation, by detectives and crime scene technicians at the scene and in interviews, determined Aitken was negligent in her care of the child. 

The Medical Examiner’s Office findings would later rule the manner of death a “homicide”, and the cause of death as “methadone toxicity”.

Aitken was illegally in possession of the controlled substance after the patient died for whom it had been prescribed.  She told investigators that she maintained possession of the methadone and hid it in the allergy bottle “for a rainy day”.

Brett Aitken told detectives that she had forgotten about the transfer of methadone.  She said that she administered it believing the bottle contained the child’s prescribed allergy medication, subsequently causing the fatal dosing.

Earlier today, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Aitken, charging her with aggravated manslaughter.  She remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond.