Failed To Death: Cody Smallwood

5:24 PM, Nov 11, 2012   |    comments
Cody Smallwood
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Age: 6 yrs.
Born: Dec 18, 2000
Died: Oct 12, 2007
Location: Greeley
Suspect in death: Robert Smallwood, father


But the warnings came without consequences and apparently never sank in. Ultimately, his son Cody died with a lethal amount of morphine in his system. Only then did social workers cite Robert Smallwood for neglect.

On Aug. 30, 2005, Smallwood went to a clinic in Weld County and said he needed more Oxycontin because Cody, then age 4, had "got a hold of the medicine box and put water in it," according to a Colorado Department of Human Services child fatality report.

A referral went to the Weld County Department of Human Services because had Cody eaten all the Oxycontin in the box, he would have died. The incident was unsettling because a medical official had warned Smallwood numerous times about how dangerous the drugs were.

A caseworker investigated.

Cody told the caseworker that he knew he should not get into the pills, and he appeared healthy and clean. The caseworker did not sustain the referral for neglect, but did warn Smallwood that if Cody ate the medications, it could be fatal. Smallwood said he would always keep his pills in a childproof bottle, not in a box.

In March 2007 another referral was made to Larimer County after Cody's parents brought one of their kids to the hospital vomiting and with an upset stomach. The parents had been drinking. Amanda Campbell had an alcohol level of .138. A caseworker determined the referral was unsubstantiated and closed the case.

On the morning of Oct. 11, 2007, Robert Smallwood found Cody, 6, not breathing. The next day, he died of an opiate overdose. Only then did Weld County caseworkers substantiate neglect against the father "at a fatal level of severity."

Read Fatality Report

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