‘We Think About Him Constantly’: Family Shares Grief Of Child’s Death From Eating Meth

Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 04, 2018

SEYMOUR, IN (WAVE) – "He just loved life," Rita Cook said of her grandson Curtis Collman III, 8.

His father, charged after he didn’t call for help when Collman III fatally ate methamphetamine, will remain behind bars. Friday afternoon a judge ruled against a bond reduction for Curtis Collman II.

Police records said instead of driving his son to the hospital when it became clear something was very wrong, Coleman II drove to Crothersville. He refused to let anyone call 911 or get medical attention for the child, who later died.

It’s been a hard few weeks for family since the death of Curtis Collman III, known to the family as "Baby Curtis."

Investigators said the eight-year-old boy died after eating meth found on a plate inside the home in Seymour where he and his dad were living.

"I know we all wake up in the morning thinking about him and we go to sleep at night thinking about him," Cook said. "He was just a good little boy."

She said Curtis was sweet, happy and full of energy, looking forward to going back to school at Crothersville Elementary.

"Curtis was full of life," Cook bragged. "He enjoyed riding his bicycle, he enjoyed riding his scooter, he loved to watch Spongebob. He was a Minecraft tutorial person — he could tell you anything about Minecraft. He just loved life. He never was still; he constantly moved and just never was still."

His father, Curtis Collman II, was arrested by police in June for failure to register as a sex offender. Police records revealed Collman II then told police about he woke up and saw his son ‘not acting right’, speaking to his brother who was not there.

Collman II refused to let others call 911 for help. Curtis Collman III later died. According to police, he had 180 times the lethal dose of meth in his system.

"And it doesn’t take much meth to kill somebody," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers said.

Carothers said this case is heartbreaking and indicative of the county’s ongoing problem with methamphetamine. Last month, meth made up more than one-third of the county’s drug arrests, more than heroin and opioids.

"The meth is still our, hate to say it, drug of choice," Carothers said.

In recent years, opioid and heroin use rose around the country while meth dwindled, but not in Jackson County.

"We were seeing a lot of heroin move into the area but the meth numbers really never dropped," Carothers said.

Carothers said people are getting methamphetamine and other drugs from Mexico or South America.

Collman II was charged with possession of meth as well as neglect of a dependent resulting in death for the death of his son.

"I don’t know what happened. I don’t care to know what happened. We’re all strong of faith and whatever happened, God has control of it," Cook said. "We’re strong together. And you know the Collmans – the Collmans are hurting, too. They loved their grandson dearly."

Cook said her family is devastated by the loss and miss their baby greatly.

"Very, very much. We think about him constantly," Cook said.

If convicted for neglect of a dependent resulting in death for his son’s death, Collman could face 20 to 50 years in prison.

A trial is set for December 4.

The death of Curtis Collman III is another heartbreaking loss as a result of methamphetamine in Jackson County. In 2005, Katlyn "Katie" Collman was on her way home in Crothersville, Indiana. She was murdered after she witnessed people making meth. Anthony Stockelman pleaded guilty to her murder and is serving a sentence of life without parole.

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