NEW PORT RICHEY — A Hudson man was arrested Wednesday in connection to the June overdose death of a Pasco County teen.
Ken Humphrey is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. He remains in the Land O’ Lakes Jail without bond.
During the night of May 30, Humphrey, 56, 13318 White Walnut St., picked up Kaleigh Tzobanakis, 15, who snuck out of her house without permission, down the street from her home.
Humphrey then took Tzobanakis to his house to have a small party with his daughter, who is also her friend, and several other friends
During the party, the teens ingested several tablets of an over-the-counter cough suppressant drug, Coricidin.
“Giving somebody drugs, especially if they’re underage, a teenager, it’s just as bad as pulling the trigger on somebody,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference Wednesday.
At some point the girls depleted their supply of Coricidin, also known as Triple C, and asked Humphrey to supply them with the opioid methadone, Pasco detective Chet Cougill said.
Despite not having a prescription, he offered them the drug, which he kept in his room, according to Cougill.
About 3 a.m. on May 31, Humphrey took one of the girls to a Hudson Walmart where he bought two boxes, each containing 16 pills, of Coricidin.
About 6:30 that same morning, a 911 call was made from the house advising authorities Tzobanakis was unconscious and was having difficulty breathing. She was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and later flown to All Children’s Hospital.
About 10 a.m. June 1, Tzobanakis, a Fivay High School student, died.
“After the medical examiner conducted their investigation, they determined the cause of death was multi-drug toxicity, and they did list methadone and the main ingredient to Triple C in their report,” Cougill said. “We felt if he would have acted properly, as a good parent, this could have been avoided.”
Humphrey’s daughter came forward to give authorities an account of what happened that morning, Cougill said.