CALLAHAN, FLORIDA — A young mother tragically lost her nine-month-old son after she put a lethal drug in his baby formula, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper announced on Tuesday.
On June 26, Leeper said deputies responded to a call in Callahan about a baby boy who was not breathing and had no pulse. The deputy on the scene unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the infant, who was pronounced dead later at a hospital in Jacksonville.
Leeper said the woman told investigators that she put what she thought was cocaine in her son’s baby formula because she wanted to take a nap. The drug she put in the bottle, however, was fentanyl.
“She laid him down in his bed to go to sleep and he never woke up,” Leeper said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The medical examiner’s office said the amount of fentanyl in the boy’s body was enough to kill ten healthy adults.
“No one should lose their life to this terrible deadly drug, especially an innocent baby,” Leeper told reporters as he held up the baby bottle and empty pill bottle that contained the lethal drug that killed the infant.
“Who does that? What mother would do that?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s not normal. It is sick. It’s beyond my imagination why a mother would do that to her child.”
The names of both the child and the mother are protected under Marsy’s Law, but Leeper said the mother was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter as well as possession of a controlled substance.
“While she was being booked into jail, she said she hasn’t had her period for a while and might be pregnant again,” Leeper said. “While we know this is an extremely sad case, this probably won’t be the last. Fatal overdoses in children have increased significantly over the years.”
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) are continuing to investigate the case.
“Our deputies respond to many situations every day. They see a lot. And it sometimes seems like over the years, nothing surprises us anymore,” Leeper added. “But every now and then, something does happen that you really can’t explain. You can’t make up. And you say to yourself: ‘What in the world were they thinking?’”