Toddler dies after mother gives her a sippy cup laced with fentanyl while she went to smoke cannabis
Officers who rushed to the home after being called found a pink sippy cup next to the child's bed that contained a red colored liquid inside
It has been claimed that a 17-month-old toddler has died from fentanyl poisoning after her mother gave her a drink in her pink sippy cup that contained the deadly drug in it. The authorities said that 23-year-old Jhenea Pratt found her toddler daughter, Charlette Napper-Talley, in an unresponsive state when she went to check on her after smoking cannabis.
Officers who rushed to the home after being called found a pink sippy cup next to the child's bed that contained a red colored liquid inside. The authorities revealed that a dangerous amount of fentanyl, which is a drug that can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin, was found in the toddler's blood and traces were found in the sippy cup. The police in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, has ruled that the child's death was a homicide due to fentanyl poisoning.
The Tribune-Review has reported that Pratt was charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. A police report states that Pratt and her boyfriend, Albert Williams, had been watching the toddler on April 5, which is the day she died. Williams had reportedly given Charlette fish sticks to eat and a soft drink in her sippy cup shortly before noon that day. The two of them had then gone and picked up Pratt from school.
After they all reached the home, Williams left again at around 2 pm to go and pick up cannabis for Pratt. He left her alone with the toddler, said the authorities. The child was allegedly fine until the moment Pratt gave her the sippy cup with the spiked drink and then put her to bed. The authorities said that she then smoked cannabis before going to check on the child whom she found unresponsive with blue lips and cold skin.
The frantic mother called 911 shortly before 6 pm and the child was immediately rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. The detectives have accused Pratt of giving the toddler the fentanyl-laced drink and said that Charlette would have probably died earlier that same day if the drug was already there when Williams gave her the sippy cup. An affidavit states, "Jhenea Pratt was the only person present during the afternoon hours that was with Charlette."
Pratt was arrested by the authorities on August 24 night. She told the authorities that she had found the sippy cup in the house and had given it to the child as she was putting her to bed. She also claimed that she had "no clue" how the lethal drug had ended up in the drink. The police officers have claimed that Pratt had been hostile and did not cooperate when the deputies tried to speak to her in the hospital.
Stephen Zappala, the Allegheny County District Attorney, told CBS News in an interview, "We tried to interview her. She didn’t give us any information. It was kind of, I hate to characterize her attitude except that she was interviewed and she was not helpful. It’s her child."
It was reported that both Pratt and Williams have denied using, transporting, or even storing heroin and fentanyl. Williams was not charged in this case and a preliminary hearing for Pratt has been set for September 5.