Muncie mom previously arrested in baby’s death now facing auto theft, drug charges

Tricia Cavanaugh

MUNCIE, Ind. – A Muncie mother previously charged with child neglect in connection with the death of her 4-month-old daughter has been arrested again.

Tricia Cavanaugh, 27, is now facing auto theft and possession of paraphernalia charges.

Tuesday, a Delaware County sheriff’s deputy found Cavanaugh and her boyfriend, Jon Marlow, in a Honda Accord reported stolen on April 12, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit says Marlow called 911 to report that he was chasing a vehicle driven by someone who had allegedly stolen Cavanaugh’s pocketbook. Eventually, deputies say Marlow crashed the Accord at Lincoln and Jackson St.

At the time of the crash, deputies say Marlow was driving the stolen vehicle and Cavanaugh was a passenger. However, during questioning, Cavanaugh admitted “she had previously been driving and been in possession of the vehicle,” the affidavit says. Deputies say she claimed she asked Marlow to drive due to her suffering a panic attack.

During a search of Cavanaugh’s purse, deputies say they found scales with white residue on them, a sleep aide commonly used to cut heroin, and a drug ledger mentioning names of people with dollar amounts and grams given to people. Also in the bag was a photo of Cavanaugh with her children, the affidavit says.

In July of last year, Cavanaugh was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. The charge was in connection with the death of her infant daughter, who died in 2016.

Police said the baby died while sleeping in the same bed as its mother, who’d tested positive for several controlled substances.

An autopsy was unable to determine the reason for Celina’s death, but the doctor who performed the autopsy said “unsafe sleeping conditions” were a contributing factor.