That's how long state police said a Greencastle, Pa., couple waited before checking on a 3-year-old daughter. Police said Brittany Higgins' daughter was put to bed at 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 5. The mother's boyfriend "peeked" in about 12 hours later, and later told police he believed the child was sleeping. But it was not until 9 p.m. the next night that they walked into the bedroom to make sure she was alright. By then, toddler Logan Starliper was dead.
Now, Higgins and Brian Bennett, Higgins' boyfriend, are charged with third-degree murder and four other felony counts related to the girl's death. Both are 29 years old.
An autopsy and toxicology testing found that Starliper died from an overdose of methamphetamine and buprenophrine. In technical terms, her cause of death was "mixed substance toxicity."
Other evidence of neglect was visible. Starliper's body had "discoloration" around the mouth, both eyes and cheeks, police said in court documents. Initial interviews with Higgins and Bennett failed to reveal the cause of these marks, police said.
Interviews with family, friends and neighbors revealed an outline of abuse and neglect on Starliper for at least six months, police said. Friends and family described seeing "mysterious" bruises and large marks on Starliper. Police also found evidence that Higgins and Bennett had communicated about physically abusing the girl and another child, according to court documents.
Asked at a press conference Thursday how the girl got the drugs in her system, a state police spokesperson would not say. What time Starliper is believed to have died was also not revealed.
Methampthetamine, often known as just "meth," is a stimulant drug that usually comes in the form of white powder, according to drugabuse.gov. It can be used by injecting it, smoking it or snorting it.
The same website states that bupronephrine is a medication used to treat opioid addiction, and is the main component of the prescription drugs Subutex, to which Bennett was prescribed, and Suboxone, which Higgins had a prescription for.
Higgins told state police where she and Bennett kept the drugs in their home. She kept her meth in a bag on the top shelf of a closet, where the kids could not get it, and kept her Suboxone locked in a safe, according to court documents. She said Bennett kept his Subutex on the stand next to the bed. Bennett later told police he kept his meth on him, and he would use it as he could. Police also found three pipes with burnt residue during a search of the home, and concluded they belonged to Bennett.
Higgins said she and Bennett had injected meth on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, court documents state.
They allegedly bought the meth they used on both days from Rodney Mower, 43, of Fayetteville, Pa.
When police caught up with him for an interview, Mower admitted to coming to the pair's apartment and giving meth to them, court documents state. He also described how the couple did the drug.
Higgins and Bennett used their bedroom to prepare and inject the meth, court documents state. Mower told police they would place a "baby gate" across the door to keep Starliper and another child out of the room. But the children stayed close and could have watched, as they would hang on the gate just a few feet away as their mother and Bennett did the meth, police said.
Mower is also charged in the case, with death by drug delivery. Police determined he had been at the apartment at about 5 p.m. Jan. 5 and that he was the only one the pair had bought drugs from that day.
"It was a known fact that as soon as Higgins and Bennett had meth, they used it," police wrote in court documents.
Police also determined that no one other than Higgins, Bennett and Mower came to or left them home over the time period of Starliper's death.
Three days after finding Starliper dead, Higgins had a "mental breakdown," police said. She went to her mother's house and admitted that she and Bennett had been using meth. Higgins handed over a bag with several needles and a spoon with white residue.
Later that month, on Jan. 25, Higgins cleaned out her vehicle at her mother's house and threw away a bag containing several needles with white residue, cotton, spoons with white residue and white powder, court documents state. The bag was given to state police.
Higgins, Bennett and Mower each have a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 3. They have all been denied bail and are in Franklin County Jail.
In addition to third-degree murder, Higgins and Bennett are both charged with involuntary manslaughter, drug delivery resulting in death and two counts of child endangerment, all felonies, and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal commented on the incident, saying "the death of this sweet, innocent little girl is the most heartbreaking example of the danger the overdose epidemic has brought to our community and region. We will avenge her, and will not rest or tire in working to prevent this from happening to others."