Parents arrested after child dies from fentanyl exposure, authorities say
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY/Gray News) - Authorities in Wisconsin say two parents are charged in the death of their child after the 18-month-old died from exposure to fentanyl.
Police report Derrick Young, 23, and Tyana Putzlocker, 22, are facing charges that include neglecting a child that resulted in death and misdemeanor bail jumping.
On May 3, police were called to a residence regarding a child who was unconscious and not breathing, as reported by WBAY. Officers said they found Putzlocker attempting CPR on the child. Emergency personnel transported the child to a hospital, but the boy later died.
According to officials, a medical examiner reported that the team did not find any signs of physical abuse and an autopsy was ordered.
On June 3, the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that fentanyl was found in the child’s system and found the drug to be a contributing factor in the boy’s death.
Investigators said the Brown County Child Protective Services had previously contacted the child’s parents in November 2021.
The child and his 2-year-old brother were removed from their custody after authorities found Young and the two boys in a basement bedroom with guns and narcotics on the floor. Pills found in the room indicated the presence of fentanyl, according to the complaint.
Officials said Young was taken to jail and later released on bond. The children were placed with their grandfather, with Young and Putzlocker having supervised visits.
Investigators said the boys were with their grandmother the day of the fatal incident as she took them to Putzlocker’s home to visit. However, she stepped out of the house when everyone was taking a nap before the boy’s death.
During the investigation, officers reportedly found the parents’ social media accounts with chats about Young being actively involved in distributing controlled substances.
According to the complaint, Putzlocker was fully aware and participated in those activities, including discussing pills on the date of the child’s death.
Officials said Putzlocker and Young were taken into custody on July 6. Putzlocker denied that she or Young were using or selling drugs.
According to the complaint, Young admitted to using and being addicted to fentanyl and selling it. He said the two smoked it in the basement and sometimes in the bathroom while keeping fentanyl pills in a closet.
Young also told investigators that his son might have gotten one of his fentanyl pills while saying Putzlocker was careless with her drug use, according to the complaint.
A representative at a resource center in Green Bay said it’s important for people to get help from substance abuse before it’s too late.
“Fentanyl is pretty significant right now regarding the potency. It’s cheaper to make. It’s much higher in the high. So, it makes it more accessible and much more dangerous,” Tina Baeten, clinical supervisor for the Jackie Nitschke Center, said.
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