Three charged in girl's death

Andrea Rose For Echo Pilot

Logan Starliper, 3, was found dead in her bed on Jan. 6

Pennsylvania State Police Thursday announced the arrest of two Greencastle residents and a Fayetteville man in the drug death of a 3-year-old Greencastle girl.

Logan Starliper was found dead in her bed in a home on West Baltimore Street on Jan. 6. She had discoloration around her mouth, eyes and cheeks.

Brittany N. Higgins, 29, and Brian P. Bennett, 29, both of Greencastle, were charged with third degree murder, drug delivery resulting in death, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of endangering the welfare of children and violating the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

Rodney A. Mower, 43, of Fayetteville was charged with drug delivery resulting in death.

"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," said Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal. "We will avenge her and will not rest or tire in working to prevent this from happening to others."

Greencastle police were called on Jan. 6 about a deceased toddler in her home in the first block of West Baltimore Street in Greencastle.

Brent Miller, state police spokesman, said Greencastle police immediately contacted state police for help with the investigation. State police were assisted in the investigation by the Franklin County District Attorney's Office, the Franklin County Coroner's Office and Greencastle police.

"It is a team effort," Miller said. "Everybody did their part in bringing justice."

"Our investigators believe there was some type of neglect here," Miller said. "We are still actively investigating."

Higgins, Logan's mother, told police the girl was put to bed at 10:30 p.m. Jan. 5 and Bennett "peeked" at her through a crack in the door around 10 a.m. on Jan. 6 and thought she was still sleeping. The toddler was not checked on until 9 p.m. on Jan. 6, when Higgins discovered her and called 911.

Higgins told police she and Bennett injected meth on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5.

According to police, Higgins said she kept her meth in a bag on the top shelf of their closet so that the kids would not get it. Her other drugs, she said, were locked in a safe.

Bennett kept his Subutex on a stand by his bed. Subutex is a brand name for buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid addiction. Bennett told police he kept his meth on his person and used it as soon as he could.

A search warrant was executed on the home and three pipes with burned residue were collected, which were determined to belong to Bennett.

Upon further investigation, police learned the duo got their drugs from Mower on Jan. 4 and 5.

Mower told police the two would place a baby gate across their bedroom door to keep their children out of their room while they prepared and injected meth.

Miller said an autopsy determined Logan died due to a mixed substance toxicity of methamphetamine and buprenorphine in her system and had "numerous details of evidence of injury."

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey Conner said he was not prepared to say how the drugs got into the girl's system, citing the ongoing investigation.

"It does happen here and it does happen to innocent victims as well," Miller said Thursday during a press conference about the drug death.

Higgins, Bennett and Mower are all being held in Franklin County Jail without bond. They face April 3 preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham.