A 30-year-old woman who was out of jail on bond in connection with the 2021 death of her own newborn baby in St. Louis is under arrest after a toddler she was babysitting died with lethal amounts of narcotics in her system.
Mary Ann Curtis was taken into custody last week and charged with one count of felony first-degree endangering the welfare of a child in the death of 17-month-old Brailey Stevenson, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show. She is currently being held at the St. Louis County Jail on $1 million cash-only bond.
According to a report from St. Louis, Missouri CBS affiliate KMOV, authorities allege that Stevenson on March 20 was in good health when she was placed in the care of Curtis. While being babysat by Curtis, the child reportedly fell asleep on the floor and lost consciousness.
Curtis later brought Stevenson to the home of another caretaker who called 911 out of concern for the child’s health, the report states. Authorities rushed Stevenson to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
A toxicology analysis reportedly showed that the toddler had fatal amounts of fentanyl and xylazine in her system at the time of her death.
Xylazine, which is also known as “tranq,” is a powerful non-opioid sedative used by veterinarians on horses and livestock. Recently, there has been a “sharp increase” in the trafficking of zylazine mixed with fentanyl, which has made “the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” according to a release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
At the time of her latest arrest, Curtis was reportedly out on bond in connection with the 2021 death of her 17-day-old son, Tre’mon, who died of a methadone overdose, according to a report from St. Louis, Missouri Fox affiliate KTVI. Curtis’ mother, Nadine Richardson, told the station that her daughter was treating a heroin additiction by using methadone when Tre’mon died, saying that hospital staff told her it was OK to breastfeed while using the drug.
Court records show that Curtis was charged with one count of second-degree child endangerment in Tre’mon’s death. She was also charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance — less than 35 grams of marijuana/synthetic cannabinoid and one count of interference with custody.
Curtis was also under investigation after she gave birth to twins who had been exposed to drugs during pregnancy and were born five months early, CBS News reported. Richardson told KTVI that her twin grandchildren both weighed less than one pound and only survived for about one minute. Curtis reportedly did not face charges in the deaths of the twins.
In a telephone interview with St. Louis, Missouri NBC affiliate KSDK, Curtis denied having anything to do with Stevenson’s death.
“That 17-month-old was like my own child. I would not intentionally hurt her. I immediately called her mom when it happened. I don’t know what this baby got her hands on,” she reportedly told the station. “I was not there. She was there with a 3-year-old and 6-year-old. The kids were there by themselves. What I know is I wasn’t using fentanyl. Yeah, I had a history, but I wasn’t using fentanyl.”
Curtis is scheduled to appear before Judge Jeffrey P. Medler on April 25 for her preliminary hearing over Stevenson’s death.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]