18-month-old daughter dies from fentanyl poisoning on Christmas Day at home where parents were packaging drugs for sale
Authorities discovered scales, grinders, baggies, guns, and drug residue inside the couple's home and further investigation proved that the couple was into drug trafficking
A Detroit couple has been charged in the Christmas Day overdose death of their 18-month-old daughter, who is believed to have had enough of synthetic opioid Fentanyl in her system to "kill several adults."
According to the Detroit Free Press, 28-year-old Antonio Floyd and 27-year-old Shantanice Barksdale were arraigned this past Monday, January 14, in the 37th District Court in Warren on charges of second-degree murder in the death of daughter, Ava Floyd.
In a press release, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith announced that both were ordered to be held in the county jail without bond pending a probable cause hearing on January 22.
The release states that the pair were at their home on Christmas morning before taking Ava and her two siblings to their grandmother's home that afternoon. The toddler stopped breathing while at the grandmother's residence and was rushed to the St. John Macomb Hospital, where despite the best efforts of medical professionals, she could not be saved. No signs of trauma or abuse were observed on the 18-month-old by hospital staff.
The Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office informed the authorities that Ava had an "extraordinary level of the narcotic Fentanyl in her system at the time of death," with Smith revealing that the child had five to 15 times the amount of the drug in her system than what has been seen in the last 30 overdose deaths in the county.
He said in the release that it was the highest level of the opioid the medical examiner's office had ever seen in a person, stating, "The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic. However, to see an infant experience such a tragic death on Christmas morning as a result of ingesting a large quantity of her parents’ Fentanyl is truly gut-wrenching."
Smith said the couple had been manufacturing and distributing the drug out of their Clinton Township home, adding that the 18-month-old possibly ingested the drug by drinking a substance spiked with it. He also said the parents were alerted to the incident after one of the girl's siblings saw her consume the opioid.
Police executed a search warrant at their home on Thursday, at the homes of both the couple and the grandmother, the Detroit Free Press reported. They uncovered scales, grinders, baggies, guns, and drug residue at the couple's home. Besides the second-degree murder charges, Floyd and Barksdale have also been charged with delivering/manufacturing of a controlled substance, manslaughter, second-degree child abuse, and felony firearm offenses. Floyd, a convicted felon, has been additionally charged with felony in possession of a weapon and felony firearm offenses.
As for the other two children, Smith said they were being tended to by officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.