CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – News4Jax on Tuesday obtained the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s investigative report into the death of an 11-year-old boy, who investigators said died of an overdose.
A medical examiner ruled the death of Rylan Wise a suicide, saying he died after ingesting methadone, a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction and pain.
Rylan was days into visiting his father’s house on the day he died. His mother and father had split custody of him and his younger sister.
According to the investigative report, Rylan was found dead in his father’s home in January, and the Sheriff’s Office noted blood coming from the boy’s nose and a large amount of blood on the pillow of his bed. The Sheriff’s Office said “...there was a single methadone pill discovered lying in some of the clothes in the closet.”
The report found that the boy’s father, Larry, had methadone pills in the house, but investigators determined there was no evidence to suggest he or his live-in girlfriend ever gave pills to the boy.
A deputy described the condition of the home, saying that “...it appeared to be in a disarray with clothing and trash on the floor in every room.”
The report also described Rylan’s recent actions and that someone at the boy’s elementary school told deputies that Rylan started “...having trouble in school when he was having problems with his father at home.” It states that a friend of Rylan told deputies “... Rylan had previously expressed to her his depression and talked about suicide.”
The report states that it was his father who found Rylan’s body and told investigators that Rylan had slept in the day before, the dad believed, “... in lieu of having to complete his virtual schooling.”
Furthermore, the report states that when Rylan told his dad “...he was not feeling very well and went to his bedroom...” around 4 p.m. on Jan. 11, his dad told police he and his girlfriend checked on Rylan several times overnight and that between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Jan. 12, Rylan’s dad “...sat by Rylan on his bed, rubbed his head eight to 10 times...” and that the father didn’t “notice anything ‘weird’” before finding the child dead a short time later and calling 911.
The medical examiner listed the death as a suicide, because of the amount of methadone in his body, 400 nanograms per milliliter, and the anecdotal evidence of depression and suicidal thoughts. The examiner also found self-inflicted superficial cuts on Rylan’s left arm.
After Rylan’s death, the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families began investigations into Rylan’s death and the safety of his siblings. Five months after the death of Rylan, the Sheriff’s Office concluded its investigation with no findings of criminal conduct by Rylan’s father.