The Anderson Police Department Arrested Rodney Allen Taylor II on the neglect of a dependant resulting in death; he was booked into the Madison County Jail around 10:00 AM on 11/22/22. This is a developing story, and we will bring you more information when we learn more.
On 9/2/22 around 6:30, the Anderson Police Department was dispatched to assist medics at 2019 McKinley street over a 9-month-old child having a cardiac arrest. An Anderson Firefighter advised an officer that this may be a possible drug-related. The Firefighter informed the officer that he had asked the father what had happened with the infant, and the father advised that the child may have gotten into something.
Rodney Taylor II advised that he had put his child to sleep in the crib and had woken up to the infant not breathing and unresponsive. When asked if he had anything illegal in his residence, Rodney Il admitted to having marijuana in his residence. A search warrant was later obtained for the home. During the execution of the warrant, officers located possible evidence including, but not limited to, a spoon with white residue, marijuana, scales, baby items, baby bedding, and photos of the scene. During Officer's follow-up with Rodney II at the hospital, he asked Rodney II if he was currently using any drugs. Rodney II informed him that he had recently relapsed. When asked what kind of drugs he takes, Rodney II advised that he had been using opiate drugs such as Fentanyl (Roxy 30's).
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The attending physician called the death at 7:19 PM on 9/2/2022; when the detectives were called over to the hospital, they found Anthony in the quiet room. When the officer arrived on the scene, Rodney Taylor II told him that he had taken a wrapper out of his son's hands before he laid him down. Sgt. Bowling advised that the father was inside of the quiet room. When The sergeant went into the quiet room to introduce himself to Rodney Taylor II, he observed Rodney was rocking his body back and forth, and his bodily actions appeared to the Sargent (from his experience) that Rodney was possibly under the influence of some type of substance. The sergeant asked Rodney if he needed to be seen by a doctor. Then Rodney stated the officer told them, "I used,” and that he had just graduated drug court but that he had a "slip up" the last few weeks.
Rodney stated that he and his girlfriend both work at Mcdonald's and have separate days off for child care. On that date, he took his son to his father's at 2019 McKinley to watch him while his girlfriend was at work. While at his father's house, his son, (name withheld), located a wrapper that came from the inside of a cigarette pack. After taking the wrapper away from his son, he advised that he unwrapped it to smell and taste it, but he said it wasn't anything. Rodney admitted that he relapsed two weeks before on Roxy pills and Heroin. The sergeant asked when the last time he used, and he said the night before and the morning of the child's death. When members of the coroner's office and the DCS arrived at the hospital, an interview was conducted with the infant's mother, Michelle Johnson, and the father, Rodney Taylor II. This occurred in the small chapel in the waiting room of the emergency room department. Michelle Johnson had taken the baby to his father's house so she could work at 3:30 P.M. When the interviewers asked how Rodney II seemed, she said he seemed fine at that time. She went on to say that she is recovering addict, and her drug of choice was Heroin. She explained that when she called Rodney to check on how their son was doing. Rodney II told her that their son had to get a cigarette wrapper out of their son's mouth earlier. She asked how he was doing and Rodney told her he was sleeping fine. She told him to check on their son and she began to hear screaming. At that point, she immediately left work and came to Rodney's father's house. When she got to the address, she saw a woman doing CPR on her baby before the ambulance arrived.
Rodney stated that he went to his father's house while Michelle (AKA Chelly) was working. Around 12:00 Michelle came to the house to visit before going to work. Later he advised that he saw his son with a gray foil that comes inside a cigarette pack. Rodney couldn't remember if he had the foil in the bedroom or the dining room. He explained that he grabbed the foil from the child that contained a gray salt-like material. After he got in the foil Rodney put him down for a nap at around 2:45 pm in the pack-n-play. Rodney said that Michelle woke him up when she called to check on their son. That's when he thought he told her about how the baby got into the foil. When he went to check on his son, who he described as looking weird, pale in color, lying on his back, so he called out his name and shook him. When he did not respond, Rodney took his son outside, where he possibly puked (but no puke was located). Rodney stated he was doing CPR when he flagged someone down, and she began doing CPR while a man with her called 911. Rodney advised he tried to call 911, but his phone would not work; when the interviewer asked about his phone, he said he could not find it. Rodney admitted that he has relapsed on Roxy's and Heroin over the last few weeks, but he and Michelle had a plan to get him clean. Both Michelle Johnson and Rodney Taylor II signed a waiver of privilege form consenting to a blood draw. The blood draws were completed at ST Vincent
Detectives then left the hospital to do a follow-up with DCS at the McKinley Street home. Before they left the hospital, Rodney told them on his own free will that he had hidden some Roxy pills at the house, but he could not remember where he put them. He said he would like to go to his father's house and get them for the officers. When they arrived, he began showing DCS a recreation of the scene per their protocol. An officer arrived to assist the detective with locating/recovering the pills. Rodney walked them to a back room and to a desk area. He located an orange pill in a coffee cup. The pill was placed in an envelope by the officer. Then he went to an even smaller room where he began looking in a dresser. Rodney II stated that he couldn't remember where he put them because so much was going on when he ran back to hide them (pills.) On 9/4/2022, Detectives attended an autopsy at Luthern Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN. The results came back on 11/21/2022 and contained the final postmortem examination report from the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center, which listed the cause of death as Fentanyl Toxicity. Rodney Taylor II was arrested and transported to the Madison County Jail for a charge of Neglect of a Dependent IC 35-46-1-4, as he was a person having the care of a dependent who knowingly or intentionally places the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent's life or health which is a level 1 felony when it is committed by a person at least 18 years of age and results in the death of the dependent who is less than 14 years of age.