A California mother has been charged with child endangerment after her 3-year-old son died of a fentanyl overdose earlier this year, police say.
Jennifer Mae Niemann, 30, was the primary caregiver of the boy and was present when her child died on May 4, the San Luis Obispo Police Department said Thursday.
Police received a call at 10:15 p.m. local time about an unresponsive 3-year-old boy who was turning blue and not breathing at a home in the 1600 block of Mill Street in San Luis Obispo.
Firefighters arrived on the scene first and started performing life-saving efforts on the child. The boy was transported to a nearby hospital but never regained consciousness and was pronounced deceased that evening.
An investigation was opened into the circumstances of the child’s death and an autopsy, along with a toxicology screening, was performed.
In mid-June, the results from the toxicology report confirmed the child died from “a fatal level of fentanyl in his system.”
A months-long investigation followed in which investigators gathered additional information showing “Neimann’s actions allowed access to fentanyl which directly led to the child’s death.”
It’s not clear exactly how the child may have ingested the fentanyl.
On Monday, San Luis Obispo Police detectives went to San Diego to attempt to locate Niemann, who they described as transient, and she was located Tuesday and taken into custody.
She was transported to the San Luis Obispo County Jail and booked on child endangerment with great bodily injury with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury during the commission of a felony, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl).
Her bail is set at $505,000, according to online booking records.
Attorney information for Niemann was not immediately available.