At 07:40 am on Sunday September 17th, our deputies responded to a call of CPR in progress on an infant in Puyallup. Deputies arrived on scene and asked what happened. Deputies were advised the child had put a piece of foil in their mouth that possibly had fentanyl on it. Central Pierce Fire advised this was possibly an overdose.
The child was transported to the hospital and was in stable condition. Detectives responded and interviewed the 33-yr-old father and later arrested him for reckless endangerment. The 3-year-old brother was also taken to the hospital to be checked out and he tested positive for fentanyl exposure.
At 04:22 am, on Saturday September 16th, a man called 911 saying his 2-year-old daughter was deceased at their home in Spanaway. Deputies and paramedics arrived on scene and the girl was pronounced deceased. The father said he fell asleep with his daughter and when he woke up at 4:20 am she was not breathing. Detectives responded to the scene to document the incident.
On Monday September 17th the medical examiner’s office advised detectives the girl had a significant amount of fentanyl in her system. Detectives went back to the residence to serve a search warrant and re-interview the father.
Detectives developed probable cause to arrest the 33-yr-old father for Manslaughter in the 1st Degree.
These two tragic incidents could have easily been prevented. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous and has no place in a home with children. Anyone struggling with drug addiction should seek treatment. This is a continuing problem in all of our communities in Pierce County, Washington State, and the rest of the United States.
We know the danger and harm drugs can cause our communities and we continue to see its involvement in not just overdose deaths, but usage by criminals who are committing serious felonies, our homeless community who are already suffering and even in our youth.
A common myth is that fentanyl use only affects certain factions of our community. The truth is that many people, from all different walks of life, are struggling with fentanyl addiction. In the first incident we mentioned, the suspect has a stable job and does not appear to have a history of using drugs. He appears to be a “new” user.
In order to keep our communities safe we need to have more awareness, more conversations, and more education to keep our young people away from drugs. There is no “safe amount” or “safe usage” of drugs.
You can watch our video on drug identification and go to WA Recovery Help Line for resources for you or a family member suffering from drug addiction.
Washington Recovery Help Line