Dad BRIAN MOSKAL has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of his 4-year-old daughter. Police say he deliberately gave the girl methadone (a drug used to treat heroin addiction) and Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug). Seems Daddy has admitted as much.
Police say father killed his 4-year-old daughter
Girl died of lethal doses of 2 drugs
Lancaster New Era
May 19, 2010 22:01 EST
By CINDY STAUFFER, Staff Writer
When 4-year-old Alexandrea Moskal suddenly died last month, authorities were mystified.
The happy little girl, whose family said she loved dancing and singing, was in cardiac arrest when an ambulance arrived at her Denver home on Saturday morning, April 17, East Cocalico Township police said. She died at Ephrata Community Hospital a few hours later.
But toxicology tests completed this month revealed a chilling result.
The child, known as Lexie, had "fatally toxic" levels of both methadone, a drug often used to treat heroin addiction, and an anti-anxiety drug commonly known as Xanax, police said.
Her father, Brian Moskal, 30, had a prescription for both.
This week, Moskal admitted to police he had given his daughter both medicines — on two occasions — on the night before she died.
Police charged Moskal Tuesday with criminal homicide, drug delivery resulting in death, drug delivery and endangering the welfare of children. He was committed to Lancaster County Prison.
On Wednesday, Moskal was taken from the prison to Lancaster General Hospital. A nursing supervisor said Wednesday night she had no information about his condition.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman deferred inquiries about Moskal's hospitalization to the prison, where a supervisor Wednesday night said he could not comment, citing HIPPA privacy laws.
Authorities said Wednesday they don't know why Moskal gave his daughter the drugs. The investigation is continuing.
"Obviously, that's one of the things we'll take a hard look at," Stedman said.
"It's clearly inexcusable, and obviously criminal and a terrible tragedy. We have a 4-year-old child who, before she had the chance to live her life, is dead because she was given these dangerous prescription medicines."
In the initial days after her death, Stedman said authorities did not know what had happened to the child. There were no signs of physical abuse or trauma on her body when she was taken to the hospital.
"There was nothing at the scene, nothing at the time," he said. "Why this happened to a 4-year-old didn't make sense. There was no evidence that there was any trauma externally."
County forensic pathologist Dr. Wayne Ross did an autopsy, and sent several samples from it for testing.
In the meantime, investigators interviewed people who were at the child's home the day she died. They included her father and mother, Bonnie Woods, as well as a grandmother, a stepgrandfather, a grandfather, a great-grandmother and an aunt. All lived with the child in a home at 8 S. Cocalico Road, according to Brian Moskal's arrest warrant affidavit.
Twelve days after the child died, police also interviewed another man, who was a friend of Brian Moskal's, Stedman said. That friend told police that he talked to Moskal after the child had died, and Moskal said he had given his daughter methadone, according to the affidavit.
Moskal later admitted to police he had prescriptions for both methadone and alprazolam, or Xanax, the affidavit said.
After the toxicology report came back, Moskal admitted what he had done, his affidavit said. He provided a written statement to police, saying he had given his daughter one pill of each medication — at 10 p.m. and then again at midnight on April 16, the night before she died.
Staff writer Jenn Todd contributed to this story.
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