After giving her 17-month-old a drink from her sippy cup in April, Jhenea Pratt told police she put the baby to bed and smoked some marijuana.
An hour later, Pratt realized little Charlette Napper-Talley was no longer breathing — and also had blue lips and cold skin, according to TribLive. So the mother called 911, and authorities say they rushed the young girl to a nearby hospital, where she later died.
Pratt was just charged on Friday with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, according to WPXI, after police say they found fentanyl in the girl’s blood and in her sippy cup.
Synthetic opioids like fentanyl killed nearly 30,000 Americans in 2017 alone, according to data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 72,000 people in the U.S. died from some sort of drug overdose during that year.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Centre Daily Times
On April 5 — the day the young girl died — Pratt’s boyfriend Albert Williams told authorities that he was watching the baby during the earlier part of the day, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After giving the girl a drink from her sippy cup and some food, police say, Williams picked up Pratt around 2 p.m. and took her back home with the baby before leaving.
Not long after 6 p.m., Pratt called 911 for her ailing daughter, police told TribLive.
Authorities say Pratt is charged with the murder because an investigation determined the girl died from an opioid overdose — and she would die “very shortly” after ingesting a large amount of fentanyl, according to TribLive. The mom and her boyfriend denied having opioids in the house.
“Jhenea Pratt was the only person present during the afternoon hours that was with Charlette,” a police affidavit said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pratt is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail, according to CBS.
She is due back in court on September 5.