Two California parents have been charged in connection with the death of their 15-month-old daughter who died of a fentanyl overdose in May of this year. They were previously arrested on a lesser charge.
Evan Frostick, 26, and Madison Bernard, 23, now stand accused of murder and child cruelty for the death of Charlotte Frostick. They also face a sentencing enhancement for allegedly causing the child to suffer.
Santa Rosa Police Department officers were called to the home in question at around 10:40 a.m. on May 9, where they allegedly discovered numerous signs of fentanyl use. That prompted the initial charges against the couple.
According to the SPRD, roughly 2.5 to 3 grams of fentanyl, packaged and unpackaged, were discovered at the couple’s Bay Area apartment along with fentanyl paraphernalia
“We found it strewn throughout the bedroom as well as on the bed where the child was sleeping,” SRPD Sergeant Christopher Mahurin said at the time in comments reported by Oakland, Calif-based Fox affiliate KTVU. “Our officers were the first on scene, checked the baby for vitals and realized the child was 15 months and not responsive.”
The child was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later died.
UPDATE: Evan Frostick & Madison Bernard are each being held at @sonomasheriff jail in lieu of $100K bail for child endangerment in connection w/death of their 15mo daughter Charlotte. 2.5-3g of fentanyl found at apt,per @SantaRosaPolice. @CountyofSonoma DA @jillrav to review case pic.twitter.com/aQyNRFkoja
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 11, 2022
“Sad,” a neighbor previously told the TV station. “It’s literally a tragic story. You never would have thought.”
The couple were originally booked on suspicion of child cruelty – due to the circumstances still being somewhat murky back then.
“Both of the parents in this case were actually arrested for felony child cruelty that could cause death because they had drugs the child had access to,” Mahurin explained at the time.
“Right now we’re not 100% sure if it was the exposure which is actually the cause of death at this point,” the sergeant added. “The Sonoma County sheriff’s department is going to be doing through their coroner’s office a medical examination as well as a toxicology report to determine the actual cause of death.”
Last month, those tests were completed. The results did not bode well for the couple.
The Sonoma County Coroner’s Office confirmed acute fentanyl intoxication was the cause of Charlotte Frostick’s death.
According to CBS News, the coroner’s report specifically identified the likely source of the fentanyl that killed the baby girl as having been used by her mother who went to sleep with the drug and paraphernalia on the bed.
Bernard had a warrant issued for her arrest, the news outlet reports, as she allegedly failed to attend the latest hearing.
The deceased girl’s grandmother previously told KTVU that it was “still way too painful” to discuss the tragic loss but said, “We definitely need to bring awareness.”
Earlier this year, on the nation’s opposite sunny coast, a Florida couple were arrested and charged over the death of their 14-month-old toddler boy. In that case, Andrea Smarr, 26, and John Valiquette, 24, each face aggravated negligence manslaughter charges in the death of James Valiquette.
A plea hearing in California case is currently slated for Aug, 11, 2022.
[images via Santa Rosa Police Department]
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