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Mom shared her drug use with newborn when breastfeeding, DA says. The baby died.

Samantha Whitney Jones, 30, is charged with criminal homicide.
Samantha Whitney Jones, 30, is charged with criminal homicide. Bucks County District Attorney's Office

A suburban Philadelphia mother passed the drugs in her system to her newborn while breastfeeding him, causing the boy to go into cardiac arrest, prosecutors said Friday.

Samantha Jones, 30, was charged with criminal homicide after finding the two-month-old infant pale with “bloody mucous” coming from his nose on April 2 in their New Britain Township home, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.

At around 3 a.m. that day, Jones had tried to breastfeed the boy — identified in the criminal complaint at R.J. — “because she was too tired to go downstairs and make a bottle of formula,” a probable cause affidavit said.

She’d asked the father to prepare a bottle of formula for the child at around 6 a.m., the affidavit said. She fed R.J. and went to sleep. It wasn’t until she woke up an hour later that she found him in distress.

Jones’ mother performed CPR after they called 911 and spoke with a dispatcher, prosecutors said. R.J. was taken to an area hospital, where he died, the district attorney’s office said.

The baby died from “a combination of methadone, amphetamine and methamphetamine” — transmitted through Jones’ breast milk, according to an autopsy, the affidavit said.

The woman told police she’d been prescribed methadone for her addiction to painkillers, authorities said. The powerful opioid can be used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. But Jones also admitted to taking it during her pregnancy, and at the time her child died, the affidavit said.

Jones mostly breastfed her child, but switched to formula a few days before he died because the infant wasn’t getting enough milk, she told police, prosecutors said.

Jones’ attorney, Louis Busico, said the child’s death wasn’t intentional.

“Samantha Jones has suffered the biggest loss any human being can suffer — the loss of a child,” Busico said, reported the Bucks County Courier Times.

A judge on Friday set bail at $3 million.

Horry County has the highest rate in South Carolina of babies born addicted to drugs, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. As the opioid crisis continues, more babies are born with this condition.

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