Mom whose 3-year-old died in the cold tested positive for drugs

Jamie Lyn Basinger
Jamie Lyn Basinger Burke County Sheriff’s Office

A Burke County mom charged in the death of her 3-year-old son tested positive for drugs, multiple media outlets reported on Thursday, citing unsealed search warrants.

A green leafy substance, pills, drug paraphernalia and syringes were found, Observer news partner WBTV reported, citing the warrants. Test results were not listed, the station reported.

Jamie Lyn Basinger, 23, of Morganton, was charged on Monday with felony involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse in the death of her son, Landyn Michael Melton. She was jailed on $100,000 bail pending a May 15 court hearing.

Landyn was found dead on March 15 on the porch of a home on Hopewell Road. Deputies responded to the home after a driver reported seeing a child on the front porch. Temperatures were in the 20s that morning.

An autopsy revealed no signs of trauma on Landyn, according to the sheriff’s office. Hypothermia is suspected of killing the boy, although the office is waiting for a toxicology report before a final ruling is made, Sheriff Steve Whisenant has told WBTV.

In an interview with sheriff’s detectives on March 15, Basinger admitted using marijuana the night before and methamphetamine two days before her son died, the Hickory Daily Record reported, citing the warrants.

According to the warrants, Basinger told police “this story doesn’t make sense … he wouldn’t go out in the dark alone,” the newspaper reported

“It was just a terrible tragedy,” a tearful Basinger told WBTV when she was arrested. “I love my kids to death, and I’d never do anything to hurt them.”

Family members told the station that dozens of people attended Landyn’s funeral service on March 20. Balloons were released in his memory.

Jamie Lyn Basinger, mother of the 3-year-old found dead on a porch in March, admitted to using drugs the night before, according to search warrants.

Landyn Michael Melton was found dead on the porch of a home on Hopewell Road in Morganton on Wednesday, March 15. A motorist called 911 at around 7:45 a.m. that day and said there may be a child lying on the front porch of the home, according to a previous News Herald story.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak