June 28, 2022 – A Georgia babysitter has been charged with the death of a baby who was exposed to an apparent drug cocktail that included fentanyl, police say.
59-year-old Pamala Graves was arrested on Tuesday after investigators determined she was taking care of the 15-month-old toddler.
Police were initially made aware of the child's condition by the Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta on June 25.
The hospital told officials that the child, who later died, was receiving treatment for exposure to illegal narcotics over the weekend.
The deceased toddler had tested positive for fentanyl, opiates, and Benzodiazepine.
Graves has been charged with possession of a Schedule II-controlled substance in addition to felony murder.
The tragedy happens as the United States grapples with a nationwide opioid epidemic.
According to CDC research, deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) far surpassed deaths from meth, cocaine, Rx opioids, heroin, benzodiazepines, or antidepressants in 2020.
According to the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), fentanyl is the leading cause of deaths for Americans aged 18 to 45 – even surpassing suicide, COVID-19 and car accident-related deaths.
Athens-Clarke County Police are still gathering details about the toddler's death. Anyone with information is asked to contact detective Jason Cooke at 762-400-7130 or send an email to email@example.com.