The 911 caller had said "My baby is dead," but no one answered the door when Lt. Danny Perkins arrived at the Dumfries home in August. First the rescue worker knocked on the door of the trailer with his knuckles. Then he pounded on it with his fists.
When the door finally opened, Alison Nicole Spivey was standing there, holding her lifeless 6-month-old daughter.
"The baby was without clothes, cold to the touch, slightly wet and blue," Perkins said. "I asked her basically what happened to the child. She said she didn't know. She found the child this way."
Perkins testified yesterday during the opening day of Spivey's trial in Prince William County Circuit Court on charges of felony child abuse and felony homicide or involuntary manslaughter. Police say Spivey, 25, was abusing a powerful pain narcotic at the time of her daughter's death.
During opening statements, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Sandra R. Sylvester told the jury about Josephine Emma Mott's last day alive, Aug. 27, 2004. Police believe that early in the day, Spivey's roommate, Stephen R. Wendel, 35, placed Josie and the infant's 3-year-old brother, Patrick, in the bathtub and left them unattended.
When Spivey, who authorities testified appeared to be in a drug-induced state, was roused by her son about 12:30 p.m., she found her daughter's body in the bathtub. All she remembered was placing her daughter in a playpen and then waking up to find the infant dead in the tub.
But defense attorney Denise Tassi told the jury that Spivey is innocent of the charges.
"Every loss of a child is a tragedy," Tassi said. "It's not always a crime."
Several prosecution witnesses described Spivey's demeanor that day as "lethargic," that she spoke very slowly and that her eyes were red and glazed over. Debra Cochran, a Dumfries police officer, said Spivey was able to answer all questions coherently, albeit slowly, and seemed to be in control of her motor skills. Wendel, on the other hand, "was totally out of it," Cochran said.
Prescription bottles for both Wendel and Spivey were found throughout their home. Law enforcement officials and a pharmacist testified that one of the prescription drugs found, OxyContin, appeared to have been abused.
Prince William police officer Ralph Daigneau, a crime scene investigator, said he found several bottles of prescription drugs in the home, including OxyContin.
In March, Wendel entered Alford pleas to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse. The pleas were not an admission of guilt but an understanding that there was enough evidence for a conviction. Wendel will be sentenced July 21.
Spivey's trial continues today before Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen.
Staff writer Tara Young contributed to this report.