Child dies of suspected fentanyl overdose, parents arrested

Authorities say parents have been arrested in the death of a 15-month-old toddler after the child was found unresponsive in their home where police found fentanyl

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 11 May 2022 21:15

The parents of a 15-month-old toddler were arrested for her death after the child was found unresponsive in their Northern California home where police found drug paraphernalia and fentanyl, authorities said.

Evan Frostick, 26, and Madison Bernard, 23, were arrested at their Santa Rosa apartment and booked for alleged cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Christian Mahurin said Wednesday.

Authorities may file manslaughter charges based on the results of an autopsy and toxicology test on the toddler expected in the next few weeks, he said.

Mahurin said he didn't know if the child's parents have retained attorneys to speak on their behalf. They are scheduled to be arraigned later Wednesday and could be assigned a public defender if they can't afford an attorney, he said.

Santa Rosa police officers, fire officials and emergency crews responded to the family's apartment Monday after Bernard called 911 to report her child was unresponsive, Mahurin said.

“The main concern was that the toddler was in a bed and in a bedroom that had both paraphernalia for fentanyl and fentanyl in the room and sprinkled on the bed,” he said.

After serving a search warrant, detectives found 2½ to 3 grams of suspected fentanyl and paraphernalia in a bedroom, including on the bed the child shared with her parents, and on the floor where the child often played, Mahurin said.

“Anything from 2 milligrams or more can be considered a lethal dose so, having that much just lying around can be incredibly dangerous,” he said.

Mahurin said there is a growing concern about children being exposed to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid used for pain relief that has been blamed for a spike in San Francisco Bay Area overdoses.

“We understand that people use recreational drugs. We also understand that people with addiction and substance issues use drugs regularly. We understand adults make those choices and those decisions, but really keeping them out of the reach of children is one of our primary concerns,” he said.

In 2019, Patrick O’Neill, 29, and his 13-month-old son, Liam, died of fentanyl overdoses. Federal prosecutors charged three people with the distribution of fentanyl in relation to the deaths and linked the drugs to a network of dealers in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. They were sentenced to between six and eight years in federal prison.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in