Police have arrested an Alexandria couple on 3 felony charges after their infant seems to have died from a fentanyl overdose in Fairfax County last year. On Monday, Juan Oliva-Ruiz and Shantica Tillery were indicted the charges of involuntary manslaughter, child cruelty resulting in serious injury, and child abuse and neglect of their 11-month-old child. If convicted, 19-year-old Juan Oliva-Ruiz and 23-year-old Shantica Tillery will face up to 25 years in prison.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, says Tillery called for help after she noticed her child wasn’t breathing in June 2022. Fairfax County Police responded to their apartment in Alexandria, where they found the baby girl unresponsive in her crib. After being taken to the hospital, the child later died. The medical examiner’s toxicology report fund high levels of fentanyl in her system.
Police think the 11-month-old found a fentanyl pill on the floor of her parents’ apartment and ate it. “Fentanyl pills were haphazardly left in the residence, and the baby ingested one,” Maj. Jeff Reiff of the Fairfax County Police said. “That was the cause of her death.”
The couple has a second child, who has been removed from their custody.
If Fentanyl is kept in the house, health officials recommend keeping any unused Opioid medications out of reach of children. They also suggest calling the Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) and keeping Narcan near by as well. Narcan can reverse an opioid overdosed in the video below Nurse Robin Harry goes through the steps to administer Narcan.
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