11-Month-Old Dies of Overdose, Mother is Charged with Manslaughter
A Syracuse woman has been arrested on 3rd Degree Manslaughter charges after her 11-month-old baby overdosed and died as a result of an exposure to fentanyl.
31-year-old Elizabeth R. Suave, of Syracuse, was arrested by police following a months-long investigation by the Onondaga District Attorney's office, according to Syracuse.com. According to media reports, Onondaga County 911 received a call back on May 9th, claiming that a baby was in poor health. When emergency crews arrived, the young child was not responding. The child died after being delivered to a local hospital, according to Syracuse.com.
The Medical Examiner's office reported that at the time of death, it was unclear if the fatality was criminal or accidental. Following an investigation by the Medic al Examiner's office, it was determined that the child's death was a homicide. Authorities determined that the death was caused by fentanyl exposure.
Suave was apprehended and taken into custody by police on Thursday, according to Syracuse.com. Investigators say they believe another person was involved with the child's exposure to the fatal synthetic drug. Authorities say no information will be released about the second person involved until an arrest is made.
According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, "Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine." The DEA says pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. "Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico."