Statements provide more insight into death of Kayleigh Cassell

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Court documents reveal more detail into what may have caused the February death of Kayleigh Mae Cassell.

A source close to the investigation tells NEWS10ABC that toxicology tests performed on the 13 month old found cocaine and heroin in her system. Kayleigh’s grandmother Donna Barnes was not surprised by the findings.

“I was not surprised,” she said. “I had already had the thought that that had occurred.”

Barnes said she knew Kayleigh’s mother, Rachel Ball, and Ball’s boyfriend, Joshua Bennett, were addicted to drugs.

“They gave her those drugs to quiet her down because of her injuries,” Barnes claimed.

According to court papers, cocaine and heroin were the same drugs Ball told New York State Police she did the night before the child died. Ball also told police Bennett had grabbed Kayleigh’s arm and later Kayleigh complained it was hurting her, according to the documents.

On the night before Kayleigh was found dead, Ball said in her statement,“As I passed the Pack-n-Play, I glanced at Kayleigh and assumed she was sleeping…We each did a line of coke and heroin mixed; then we laid down.”

Ball continued her statement by describing what she saw the next day:

“I saw that Kayleigh looked swollen and had light green and purple bruises on her neck and face. She was cold and stiff.”

“I started to scream…I begged [Josh] to help me, and he said, ‘What do you want me to do?’”

“She was find when I put her to bed last night.”

Ball was living with Kayleigh and her boyfriend, Joshua Bennett, at a home on Route 4 in Kingsbury. Both Ball and Bennett have been arrested on felony drug charges, but neither has been charged in connection with Kayleigh’s death.

The office of Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan is handling the case. Jordan said he hasn’t heard anything about the results of the toxicology tests.

“At this point, there are no reports, preliminary or otherwise,” he said. “So, like I’ve heard, many of those stories are being shared. I don’t know the genesis of those, so what we do know is the investigation is continuing.”

There is still no official cause of death, and Jordan couldn’t say when the results of the autopsy would be back. He said it is hard to determine what a drug overdose would be in a toddler, especially when there may be other factors involved.

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