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Monday, June 24, 2024

Ocala parents arrested two months after child dies from fentanyl overdose

An Ocala couple has been arrested and charged with manslaughter exactly two months after their 15-month-old child was found dead from an overdose of fentanyl, meth, and tranq, some of which he ingested directly.

On Wednesday, May 2, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested 48-year-old Daniel Brady Miller and Kelli Nichole Starling on one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Daniel Brady Miller (left) and Kelli Nichole Starling (right)
Daniel Brady Miller (left) and Kelli Nichole Starling (right)

Two months earlier, on March 1, 2024, 15-month-old Daltin Lee Miller was found unresponsive inside a residence located in the 1400 block of NE 28th Lane in Ocala. On that day, at around 4:15 p.m., MCSO deputies and Marion County Fire Rescue personnel responded to the home.

Shortly after MCFR arrived on scene, Daltin was pronounced deceased.

Daltin Lee Miller
Daltin Lee Miller was found dead in his parents’ home on March 1, 2024.

An investigation was launched by the sheriff’s office, and a detective discovered that Daltin had been removed from his parents’ custody at birth since both Miller and Starling had tested positive for illegal drugs in their systems.

According to group administrators and members of the social media group entitled “Justice for Daltin Lee Miller,” Daltin had been in the custody of his biological aunt and uncle since he was born.

Daltin Lee Miller
A social media group seeking “Justice for Daltin Lee Miller” has gained over 2,000 followers.

A few weeks before the fatal overdose, on February 9, Miller was granted custody of Daltin. The sheriff’s office stated that under the custody agreement, Starling was required to leave the home due to her history of drug use.

MCSO detectives learned that on February 27, Starling returned to the residence. Miller and Starling told investigators that Daltin had been sick and congested, and the child was having difficulty sleeping.

On the day of the fatal overdose, Miller and Starling told investigators that they had been sleeping, and they noticed that Daltin was not breathing shortly before calling 911.

The interior of the home was searched by detectives and forensic crime scene technicians. During that search, a black pouch containing drug paraphernalia and a powdery substance was located in the room where Daltin had died. The substance, which was “in an easily accessible area,” tested positive for fentanyl, according to MCSO.

While Miller and Sterling both denied using drugs recently, MCSO stated that they refused to provide a urine sample for a drug screening.

In April, the Medical Examiner determined that Daltin’s cause of death was “acute toxicity due to the combined effects of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and xylazine,” which is commonly added to fentanyl to enhance its effects. Referred to as “tranq,” the tranquilizer is used in the veterinarian field for large livestock, including horses.

A “significant amount of drugs” was also found in Daltin’s blood and liver, indicating that the drugs were “directly ingested,” according to the sheriff’s office.

After a warrant was issued, Miller and Starling were located at their home on Wednesday, May 1. They were arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where they are currently being held without bond.

Miller and Starling have both been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. In addition, Miller has also been charged with possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) without a prescription.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.