BARTOW, Fla. — On Tuesday, officials arrested a mother they say allowed her teenage daughter to die of an overdose.
Officers say 39-year-old Audra Watson-Pender and 20-year-old Matthew Christian failed to call for help when 14-year-old Rhianon Quinn ingested methamphetamine because Watson-Pender had drugs in the home.
Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall said the investigation revealed Quinn called her mother, who was at work at the time, and notified Watson-Pender that she was experiencing an overdose. Watson-Pender came home and along with Christian, the two put Quinn in an ice bath.
The two called for help six hours later when Quinn became unresponsive. Medical examiners said if Quinn had been brought in just two hours earlier, she could have survived.
“I don’t know what to tell you about this woman that allowed this 14-year-old to just lay there in this home and die. And remember, she laid there and suffered for six hours before we got medical attention to her,” Hall said.
Christian was believed to have been in a relationship with the teen. He was arrested yesterday for aggravated manslaughter of a child, possession of child porn and for transmitting material harmful to minors.
Police asked for the public's help locating Watson-Pender on Tuesday morning. She was located and arrested on Tuesday night in Lake Wales, Florida, police say. Watson-Pender has been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and tampering with physical evidence. She is currently being held in the Polk County jail.