Parents of 18-month-old girl, who was constantly near her parents while they were using drugs and had high levels of fentanyl in her system at the time of her death, admitted they waited at least 10 hours before calling first responders when they found the little girl unconscious and with blue lips

Court records show that a couple faces murder charges following the fentanyl-poisoning death of their 18-month-old daughter. The 27-year-old father, later identified as Derek, and the 28-year-old mother, later identified as Kelly, are facing long-term prison sentences if found guilty.

The couple’s drug-littered home became the scene of a heartbreaking discovery. Responding to a 911 call from Derek, who reported his daughter as unresponsive and not breathing, first responders arrived to find the little girl, identified as Winter, lying on a bed, covered by a rug, and showing signs of being deceased for several hours.

A toxicology report revealed a shocking level of fentanyl in Winter’s blood, far exceeding lethal concentrations. She had a fentanyl blood concentration of 74 ng/ml. This revelation painted a grim picture of the environment in which she was living. According to the investigation, the parents woke up in the middle of the night to discover the baby’s lips were blue, and she was unconscious and not breathing. They also admitted to waiting approximately 10 hours before calling 911, choosing to grieve privately before alerting authorities. Blood samples taken from the parents the day Winter died showed they were both positive for drugs.

Investigators uncovered disturbing evidence at the scene, including drug paraphernalia and fentanyl residue in the room where Winter was found. Text messages and social media communications further implicated the couple, revealing their reckless drug use, even in the presence of their child. Investigators found photos showing the couple holding their baby in their hands and smoking narcotics. They also kept narcotics in open and unsecured spots in the home.

As of the latest updates, both Derek and Kelly are awaiting a plea hearing scheduled for January 3, 2024. The district attorney emphasized the severity of this case, not only as a legal matter but also as a tragic loss of an innocent life due to the recklessness of drug use. As the legal process unfolds, the focus remains on the tragic loss of Winter, whose life was cut short due to circumstances beyond her control. This case is a wake-up call to the dangers of opioids and the responsibility of parents to ensure the safety and well-being of their children, even amidst personal struggles with addiction.

Viola Higgins

I’m a mother of 2 little angels that I continuously try to figure out and spend the other half figuring out how to be a great wife. Writing is my passion and I write regularly for the Virginian Tribune and several other national news outlets.

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