Florida couple charged with child neglect after baby overdoses on fentanyl: report

Florida couple's bond is set at $100,000 each for child neglect charges due to their baby's fentanyl overdose

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A Florida couple was arrested and charged with felony child neglect after an infant overdosed on fentanyl while in their care, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

Alexis Burnette, 27, and Saige Freese, 24, along with two friends, drove three children to a local clinic July 1 after their 9-month-old baby stopped breathing.

The shadow of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on a photograph of heroin and fentanyl during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol March 22, 2018.

The shadow of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on a photograph of heroin and fentanyl during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol March 22, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla)

The baby was taken to a hospital, where she was given Narcan, used to treat an opioid overdose. Burnette and Freese later tested positive for fentanyl, according to authorities. 

FENTANYL POISONING'S SURPRISING SIGNS: WHAT PARENTS AND FRIENDS MUST KNOW

Freese also admitted to snorting a crushed Xanax pill laced with fentanyl and "may have touched the baby's bottle, leading to her condition, according to Action News Jax.

TJ Ward, director of North Florida's Project Opioid Jax, warns that "fentanyl is not a drug that you can experiment with."

At a halfway house for recovering addicts, supervisors who are in recovery themselves use a fentanyl strip to test for drugs in the urine of a fellow resident March 22, 2019. 

At a halfway house for recovering addicts, supervisors who are in recovery themselves use a fentanyl strip to test for drugs in the urine of a fellow resident March 22, 2019.  (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

"Fentanyl will kill. It's being laced in everybody's drug of choice," Ward told First Coast News.

The CDC reports that more than 107,000 people died of an overdose in 2021 in the U.S.

Burnette and Freese are no strangers to child neglect charges. Burnette was sentenced to two years probation in 2019 after she was found unresponsive at her home while Freese was once passed out in a running car with a child.

These fentanyl pills were valued at over $350,000, police said.

These fentanyl pills were valued at over $350,000, police said. (Sterling Heights Police Department via FOX2 Detroit WJBK)

The child's grandmother — Freese's mother — is fighting for custody of the three other children, according to Action News Jax. She even hired Kathleen Conran, a private investigator, in November 2021. 

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"I called DCF (Florida Department of Children and Families)," said Conran. "Nobody ever even called me back."

Burnette and Freese's scheduled hearing is set for July 25. The couple's bail is set at $100,000 each.