Omaha police: Woman arrested in drowning may have taken too many sleeping pills

OMAHA, NE (Omaha World-Herald News Source) – A 62-year-old woman’s possible misuse of sleeping pills was mentioned as a factor in her arrest Friday in connection with the Aug. 22 drowning death of a 4-month-old baby, her great-granddaughter.

Sandra L. Laravie was arrested on suspicion of negligent child abuse resulting in a death. She remained at the Douglas County Jail on Monday.

Her great-granddaughter, Zavara Taylor, was in Laravie’s care when she found the baby unresponsive after being left in a bathtub for a bath, according to an arrest affidavit. Laravie said she tried to resuscitate Zavara — and so did paramedics — but the baby was pronounced dead at Immanuel Medical Center.

When Omaha police responded to the incident, at a home near 24th Street and Redick Avenue, they found a bottle of prescription sleeping pills in the living room of the home, according to the affidavit. They noted that Laravie “was slow to answer questions and appeared to have difficulty maintaining a train of thought for an extended period of time.”

Police later learned that the amount of pills left in the prescription bottle indicated that more than the prescribed dosage had been taken during the preceding six-day stretch, according to the document.