Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Spanaway woman in the death of her 2-year-old son, who died two years ago after ingesting methamphetamine and drinking bong water.
Alyia Iverson, 26, is to be arraigned Wednesday. She has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the Dec. 6, 2012, death of Nathan Iverson.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said the toddler died of acute meth poisoning. He had enough meth in his system to kill an adult, according to toxicology reports. He also had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.
Prosecutors allege several people were doing drugs in Iverson’s home when she saw her son drink water from a pot pipe. Instead of calling 911, she allegedly swaddled him in a blanket and placed him in bed.
She told detectives Nathan became irritated and was “pissin’ and moanin’” so she placed him on the floor, according to charging papers.
Two hours later, she found the boy had stopped breathing. Iverson called 911 and paramedics determined the boy had no pulse and his jaw locked too tight to insert a breathing tube.
Doctors noted the toddler had multiple bruises, his pupils were dilated, his fingernails were filthy and his body was stiff, court records show. He died within 15 minutes of arriving at the hospital.
Officials said there was a delay in charges being filed because the investigation required multiple interviews, many with drug users, and prosecutors were waiting for the results of toxicology tests.
Krista Leonard, who is Alyia Iverson’s cousin, said the family has been anxiously waiting for justice since Nathan died.
“It’s taken two years to come to this,” she said Tuesday. “How could somebody do this and still walk the streets? I said a prayer at Nathan’s funeral that I would not stop until I got justice for him.”
Leonard said her family called state workers more than 100 times during Nathan’s life to express their concerns. One family member told police Nathan once came to her house and drank water out of the dog bowl as if it was normal.
Witnesses told detectives Iverson often smoked meth in the presence of her children, the house was dirty and the children often were abused and starved.
Iverson also has a 5-year-old daughter who remains in foster care.
Records show the Children’s Administration, the division of the state Department of Social and Health Services that oversees child welfare, began monitoring Iverson in 2009.
Several complaints were deemed unfounded but a social worker determined in 2011 that Iverson likely was abusing her children and forcing them to live in unsanitary conditions.
Iverson lost custody of the children in 2011 but later regained custody, according to court documents.
After Nathan’s death, a committee found that state employees should have done more to find Iverson’s family after she dropped off the grid.
The committee also expressed concern that a social worker failed to follow up with the toddler’s doctor, who notified the state months before Nathan’s death that Iverson was not following through with her son’s medical treatment.
Leonard said her family tried their best to save Nathan.
“We did everything we could short of kidnapping him,” she said.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 firstname.lastname@example.org