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 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.
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."
"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.
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.
"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.