Toddler died of starvation in his car seat after his mom fatally overdosed


Toddler died of starvation and dehydration in his Tennessee home while strapped in his car seat after his mom fatally overdosed on meth and fentanyl, autopsies reveal

  • Tiffany Spears, 32, and her 15-month-old son, Nicholas Crowder, were found dead inside the home in Portland, Tennessee in February
  • The results of their autopsies were only released on Monday
  • The medical examiner, who ruled both deaths an accident, said Spears had been dead several days after dying of a drug overdose 
  • It is not clear how long Nicholas had been dead before he was found but his cause of death was starvation and dehydration 
  • His three-year-old sister, who was found alive inside the home, appeared to have tried to care for the little boy prior to him dying 

A toddler whose body was found strapped in his car seat inside his Tennessee home died of starvation and dehydration after his mother fatally overdosed on meth and fentanyl, autopsies show. 

Tiffany Spears, 32, and her 15-month-old son, Nicholas Crowder, were found dead inside the home in Portland, north-east of Nashville, back in February but the results of their autopsies were only released on Monday.

The medical examiner, who ruled both deaths an accident, said Spears had been dead several days after dying of a drug overdose.

It is not clear how long Nicholas had been dead before he was found but his cause of death was starvation and dehydration. 

Nicholas Crowder

Tiffany Spears

Tiffany Spears, 32, and her 15-month-old son, Nicholas Crowder, were found dead inside the home in Portland, Tennessee in February

His three-year-old sister, who was found alive inside the home, appeared to have tried to care for the little boy prior to him dying. 

The medical examiner noted that food, including dried egg and eggshells, were found in and around his car seat.  

Authorities were first alerted after a probation officer went to the home on February 9 and found it locked. 

The probation officer called 911 after she looked through the window and saw Spears lying on the floor and the little girl running around the home.   

The medical examiner, who ruled both deaths an accident, said Spears had been dead several days inside the home after dying of a drug overdose. It is not clear how long Nicholas had been dead before he was found but his cause of death was starvation and dehydration

The medical examiner, who ruled both deaths an accident, said Spears had been dead several days inside the home after dying of a drug overdose. It is not clear how long Nicholas had been dead before he was found but his cause of death was starvation and dehydration

Spears' body was lying on the bathroom floor and authorities said there was drug paraphernalia inside the home. Spears is pictured above with her boyfriend and Nicholas' father James Crowder

Spears’ body was lying on the bathroom floor and authorities said there was drug paraphernalia inside the home. Spears is pictured above with her boyfriend and Nicholas’ father James Crowder 

Officers found Spears’ body lying on the bathroom floor and drug paraphernalia inside the home.

Nicholas was found strapped in his car seat on the floor of a bedroom. 

The little girl was taken to hospital for treatment. 

Authorities had always suspected Spears had died of a drug overdose. Her toxicology report came back showing signs of meth and fentanyl in her system.  

Back when the bodies were discovered, authorities said there had previously been other drug-related deaths at the rental home. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if those deaths were related to previous tenants.  

Nicholas (pictured as an infant with his father) was found strapped in his car seat on the floor of a bedroom

Nicholas (pictured as an infant with his father) was found strapped in his car seat on the floor of a bedroom



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