Billie J. CottleGRANITE CITY - Billie J. Cottle, 25, of the 100 block of Troeckler Lane in Granite City, has been charged with multiple felonies after she was found with an apparent overdose alongside her 17-month-old son in the bathroom of her residence.

At a press conference hosted by Madison County Sheriff John Lakin at the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Lakin revealed the young boy had been given Narcan - a drug, which has been described as "miraculous" with its ability to bring overdose victims back to consciousness - several times before emergency crews transported him to a local hospital in serious condition. Lakin said preliminary toxicology reports showed a mixture of methamphetamine and Fentanyl in his system. That combination has killed several people in Madison County over the past few years, because it mixes the stimulant properties of methamphetamine with the powerful opioid effect of the Fentanyl, which is more powerful than both morphine and heroin.

"This was a very disturbing situation our investigators were brought to Monday," Lakin said at the Wednesday morning press conference. "The mother was found overdosing, and those involved found her holding her unresponsive 17-month-old biological son."

Lakin said emergency crews were called to the scene Monday evening after family members who lived with Cottle at the residence noticed both Cottle and her child were missing. Family members found the bathroom door locked, and attempted to pound on it to no avail. When the door finally gave, family members found Cottle and her young son unresponsive and called emergency professionals to the scene. Lakin said the child was given Narcan, but Cottle came to consciousness on her own.

How the young child was able to ingest the deadly combo, known as a "modern speedball," is still under investigation, Lakin said. He said he was not sure if the dose was administered by the mother, or if the young child's tendency to place things in his mouth resulted in the overdose. He said the child is too young to properly describe what occurred.

The young child is scheduled to be released from the hospital this afternoon and immediately placed into the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Lakin said other family members at the residence are responsible and greatly care for the child. He expects one of them to attain custody of the child - assuming that is approved by DCFS.

Cottle was arrested at the scene for a warrant issued by the St. Louis County Police Department for possession of a controlled substance.

On Tuesday, July 25, the Madison County State's Attorney's Office charged Cottle with the following:

  • Aggravated battery to a child, a Class X Felony.
  • Aggravated battery, a Class 1 Felony.
  • Reckless conduct, a Class 4 Felony
  • Endangering the life or health of a child, a Class A Felony

Currently, Cottle is being held at the Madison County Jail on a $250,000 bond. Lakin said his office would be working with the St. Louis County Police Department regarding its outstanding warrant against Cottles and possible extradition.

Lakin said this unfortunate incident is yet another example of the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing Madison County and the rest of the country. He said issues related to addiction, including thefts and robberies as well as drug possession, have caused the Madison County jail to exceed its maximum capacity of 312 inmates to a whopping 350. Regardless of those numbers, Lakin firmly believes law enforcement across Madison County is "doing a great job" combating this awful epidemic.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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