Babysitter charged in death of 15-month-old exposed to fentanyl, Georgia cops say

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A 59-year-old woman has been charged in the death of a 15-month-old child, who was exposed to several illegal drugs, Georgia cops say.

Police in Athens-Clarke County say Pamala Graves, of Elberton, was babysitting the 15-month-old child who was exposed to fentanyl, opiates and Benzodiazepine. The toddler was admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta on Friday, June 24, according to Now Habersham, and police were notified the following day.

The child, who has not been publicly identified, later died from exposure to the drugs, police said.

Graves was arrested Monday, June 27, and charged with felony murder and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

“We are looking into the circumstances regarding that initial medical call and drug exposure,” Athens-Clarke County Police Lt. Shaun Barnett told Now Habersham.

Police did not say which of the drugs caused the child’s death. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is often illegally sold for its “heroin-like effect.”

Benzodiazepines, which are often called benzos and work to calm or sedate a person, contribute to 16% of overdose deaths involving opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Opiates refer to natural opioids, including heroin, morphine and codeine, the CDC says.

Police asked anyone with information on the incident to contact Det. Jason Cook at 762-400-7103.

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