Innocent Lost: Caden Nickles

March 16, 2014 

Caden Nickles

Caden Nickles, 15 months

BORN: November 22, 2011

DIED: March 3, 2013

CAUSE OF DEATH: Mechanical asphyxia due to overlay

MANNER OF DEATH: Accident

HIS STORY: Caden Nickles suffocated, either on the couch lying next to his father's girlfriend, Megan Marshall, or amid blankets in his crib, police said after his death.

The night Caden died, he had been visiting his 22-year-old father, Tom Nickles, and Marshall, 25. Tests conducted after the child's death showed no drugs in Nickels' body, but traces of morphine, marijuana, opiates and Oxycontin were found in Marshall's.

The 14-month-old boy had been the subject of a 2012 report to the DCF hotline that he had suffered a skull fracture when his stroller collapsed. DCF determined the injury to be accidental. Another report to DCF that same year said that Caden's mother, Jessica Shasteen, had "a history of substance-abuse issues" and was believed to be "using drugs again."

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