A 31-year-old California mother was arrested Tuesday after authorities said fentanyl played a role in the death of her 17-month-old baby.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded at approximately 3:30 p.m. to a report of a juvenile in need of medical assistance in the 100 block of 8th Street in Norco. Authorities said deputies found a 17-month-old girl who was not breathing.
According to officials, deputies and Cal-Fire immediately began life-saving measures, but the child remained unresponsive. The girl was declared dead on the spot.
Investigators believed the death was suspicious and contacted the department’s homicide unit.
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The girl’s mother, Jennifer Johanna Allen, was later arrested and charged with murder after homicide investigators obtained evidence fentanyl was involved, the sheriff’s office said.
Allen was being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center. His bail was set at $1 million, according to online jail records. The investigation into the deaths of Allen and her 17-month-old baby is ongoing.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is “about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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Law enforcement across the country has been aggressive in seizing the deadly opioid and arresting those illegally smuggling the drug into the U.S. In cases where a person died from fentanyl, officials are pursuing murder charges. have been
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Patch reported that Riverside County officials have more than 20 fentanyl investigations pending across the county that involve murder charges.