Three people face charges related to the overdose death of a two-year-old in Rhode Island last year, police said Friday.
Authorities responding to a report of an unresponsive child found the toddler in a home in Pawtucket Dec. 10. Authorities say the home had been used in the manufacturing and distribution of narcotics. The child was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The two-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide after a medical examiner determined the cause to be acute fentanyl intoxication.
Those charged include the child’s mother, 26-year-old Jessaline Andrade of Cranston. She faces two counts of child cruelty or neglect and a single charge of murder in the second degree. Andrade is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
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Two men were also charged with murder in the second degree. They are 31-year-old Stephano Castro of Providence and 33-year-old Yara Chum of Pawtucket. Both Castro and Chum were arraigned on Friday.
It was unclear Saturday whether Andrade, Castro and Chum were represented by legal counsel.
The deceased child’s sibling, an 8-year-old boy, was also present in the home and also tested positive for fentanyl exposure. That child survived.
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Police have not released the name of the deceased toddler as of Saturday.
Pawtucket City Councilwoman Melissa DaRosa told WJAR-TV that the child’s death is a tragic reminder of a drug problem impacting communities across the United States.
“Fentanyl is definitely plaguing our community, just like the rest of the country, and I’m very sad a child lost his life,” said Melissa DaRosa, Pawtucket City Councilwoman at Large.