Two women have been charged in the death of a 9-month-old baby who police say fatally overdosed on fentanyl and heroin.
Baltimore’s Alexus Lorraine Taylor, 17, and Laurie Ann Taylor, 43, were arrested on Thursday (local time) on charges including manslaughter and first-degree child abuse resulting in the July 27 death of Niyear Taylor.
Anne Arundel County police called to their home in Curtis Bay were told the baby was unresponsive and had been wheezing before he fell asleep the night before.
According to police, the mother and grandmother slept with the boy who went to sleep about 2am on July 27.
The pair then found the boy unresponsive the next morning and called for help about 9.15am (local time).
The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a police statement.
Homicide Detectives and the Evidence Collection Unit were at the scene and detectives conducted interviews with family members who resided within the Maryland residence.
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as “fentanyl and heroin intoxication with despropionyl fentanyl use with the manner being homicide”.
Manslaughter and child abuse charges
Police said they later searched the home on August 14, and found empty gel capsules covered in heroin and fentanyl residue in every room, and even inside the baby's diaper bag.
“Upon completion of the search warrant over one hundred gel caps were recovered from the floor, the infant’s diaper bag, and various other areas within the residence,” police said in a statement.
The gel caps tested positive for both heroin and fentanyl.
According to police, Laurie Ann Taylor, the grandmother, had taken her two daughters and her grandson to buy heroin the day before Niyear was found unresponsive.
Laurie Ann intended on sharing the heron capsules with her two daughters, police allege.
She told officers she noticed one capsule missing upon returning home and questioned whether her grandson had possibly eaten it.
But after talking with her daughter they decided to wait and see what happened, police say.
To compensate for the missing gel capsule, Laurie Ann drove her 17-year-old daughter and mother of the baby, Alexus Lorraine Taylor, to purchase more heroin.
After several months of investigation, the mother and grandmother of the baby Niyear were arrested on Thursday.
Alexus Lorraine was charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death, second-degree child abuse, manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
Meanwhile her mother, Laurie Ann, was charged with the same offences regarding the homicide, and two additional counts of reckless endangerment in regards to her child, Alexus Lorraine.
It is unclear if the women have lawyers who could comment on their behalf.
– with Associated Press.
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