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Columbus man arrested after 8-year-old son dies from fentanyl

An autopsy report later showed that Lealyn Tuttle's cause of death was from acute fentanyl and diphenhydramine intoxication.
Credit: Bartholomew County Jail

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Police arrested a Columbus man Monday after the death of his 8-year-old son.  

Travis E. Tuttle, 35, was arrested on charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and possession of a narcotic drug.  

The investigation began March 21 when officers responded to a home in the 4300 block of Serenity Drive, near 25th Street and Taylor Road, for a child that was not breathing. Officers located 8-year-old Lealyn Tuttle dead in the home.

Travis told investigators the boy was asleep up the floor of the living room when he went to the kitchen at 3 a.m. to get some water. He said he then found Lealyn unresponsive at 11 a.m. and called 911.

Detectives got a search warrant for the home and found narcotics, including fentanyl, and drug paraphernalia. Among the items found was a piece of foil in the living room with white powder on it.

Police found a video on Travis' cellphone that showed Lealyn the night before the boy was found dead. In the video, Lealyn had placed the foil over his teeth and was pretending he had a "grill."

DNA tests were done on the foil found in the apartment and a piece was found to have Lealyn's DNA on it. Police believe that is the piece he had in his mouth. Testing on the foil determined the powder on it contained fentanyl.

An autopsy report later showed that Lealyn's cause of death was from acute fentanyl and diphenhydramine intoxication.

Travis Tuttle is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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