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Natalie Russell update: DCS investigated Phoenix mom six times before murder

Posted: 6:45 AM, Aug 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-08 21:06:03Z
DCS investigated PHX mom six times before murder
DCS investigated PHX mom six times before murder

ABC15 is learning more information about the tragic death of a 22-month-old girl in Phoenix.

Phoenix police report that on April 13, Natalie Renee Russell, 30, left a 120-milligram bottle of liquid methadone within reach of her children. They say that her young daughter, Adalynn, was found by her mother unresponsive and not breathing. The bottle of methadone was nearby and empty.

Police report that instead of seeking medical attention, Russell did internet searches for information about methadone. A witness reportedly told police that Russell told them she was going to give her daughter some methamphetamine to counter the effects of the methadone.

This witness says they saw Russell give Adalynn the methamphetamine. The girl was pronounced dead the next day by the Phoenix Fire Department.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office says the autopsy showed that the child was found to have "toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamine in her body."

ABC15 has now learned the Arizona Department of Child Safety had six cases involving the Russell family.

DCS received the following reports:

On March 2, 2007, a report was received alleging neglect to one of Adalynn's older siblings by their mother, Natalie Russell. The allegation was unsubstantiated. The family participated in in-home services and the case was closed.

On July 7, 2011, a report was received alleging neglect to one of Adalynn's older siblings by their mother, Natalie Russell. The allegation was unsubstantiated. The Department offered services to the family and the case was closed.

On December 3, 2014, a report was received alleging neglect to Adalynn and one of her older siblings by their mother, Natalie Russell and each of their fathers. The children were removed from the home and the Department filed a dependency petition with the Maricopa County Juvenile Court. The allegations were substantiated. The Department was providing services to the family when the following three subsequent reports were received.

On January 7, 2015, a report was received alleging neglect to Adalynn and a sibling by their mother, Natalie Russell, Adalynn's father and the kinship placement provider. The allegations were unsubstantiated and the Department continued providing services to the family.

On August 8, 2015, a report was received alleging neglect to a sibling by the mother, Natalie Russell and the father. The allegations were substantiated as to the father and unsubstantiated as to mother, Natalie Russell. The Department continued providing services to the family.

On February 4, 2016, a report was received alleging neglect to Adalynn by her mother, Natalie Russell. The allegation was unsubstantiated and the case was closed.

The child was found dead on April 14, 2016.

The preliminary DCS report indicates the fatality was the result of abuse or neglect on July 26, 2016, the day Natalie Russell was arrested.

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