Valley mother charged with murder of toddler

A valley mother has been charged with murder after her daughter died of a drug overdose in April.

Phoenix police say 30-year-old Natalie Russell has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 22-month-old daughter, Adalynn.

On April 14, police responded to reports of a child not breathing at an apartment near 17th Avenue and Dunlap. When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Adalynn not breathing and she was pronounced dead.

Investigators say Natalie Russell told officers a container of methadone spilled, but before she could clean it up, she thought either her 5-year-old son or Adalynn had consumed the drug.

Russell later told police that Adalynn may have consumed methadone the night before and did not seek medical attention for Adalynn, but instead laid down with the girl and fell asleep. The next morning, another woman living in the apartment discovered Adalynn was not breathing and dialed 9-1-1.

Throughout the course of their investigation, detectives discovered Russell had researched information on methadone overdose on the internet and she allegedly gave Adalynn methamphetamine to counteract the methadone.

Autopsy results showed Adalynn had toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamine in her system at the time of her death.

Russell was arrested on July 26 in Gilbert and has been booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse.