‘This is reality every day’: South Sound 2-year-old dies, baby hospitalized after fentanyl overdoses

SPANAWAY and PUYALLUP, Wash. — A 2-year-old Spanaway girl died and an infant from Puyallup was taken to the hospital after they were exposed to fentanyl this weekend, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Early Saturday, deputies and medics arrived at a home in Spanaway to find a 2-year-old girl dead after her father called 911.

The man said he fell asleep with his daughter, and when he awoke at 4:20 a.m., she wasn’t breathing. He was interviewed by detectives.

On Monday, officials with the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office told detectives the girl had a significant amount of fentanyl in her system.

Detectives returned to the home to re-interview the victim’s father and serve a search warrant.

The 33-year-old father was later arrested for investigation of first-degree manslaughter.

A second fentanyl-related incident involving a child happened in the South Sound on Sunday.

In Puyallup, deputies were called to a home where CPR was in progress on a baby. When they arrived and asked what happened, they were told the baby had put a piece of foil in their mouth that may have been contaminated with fentanyl.

Officials with Central Pierce Fire said the child may have overdosed and the baby was taken to the hospital, where they were in stable condition.

The baby’s 3-year-old brother was also taken to the hospital to be evaluated and also tested positive for fentanyl exposure.

After interviewing the children’s 33-year-old father, detectives arrested him for investigation of reckless endangerment.

The sheriff’s department said fentanyl addiction affects people from all walks of life. For instance, the man in the Puyallup case appears to be a “new” user who has a stable job and doesn’t appear to have a history of drug use, according to deputies.

“This is a reality every day,” said Sgt. Darren Moss Jr. with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. “Every day. Every hour. Someone is overdosing.”

Sgt. Moss added that the problem is coming from places you wouldn’t associate with drug use.

“The most troubling thing in this situation is you have young, young children who can’t help it. It’s not their fault. But every day we’re seeing overdoses in middle schools, in high schools. Places where you wouldn’t think there’d be drug usage. And now we’re seeing overdoses,” said Sgt. Moss.

If you or a family member or friend is suffering from drug addiction, visit the Washington Recovery Help Line at www.waRecoveryHelpLine.org or call 1-866-789-1511.

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