Indiana mother pleads guilty to neglect after 2-year-old son died from ingesting fentanyl

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A woman in Fort Wayne, Indiana was arrested and charged with neglect after her two children took fentanyl last year leading to the death of one child as the other one got sick.

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Kiara A. Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent on Wednesday, according to Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

The newspaper said Johnson was facing two charges which were possession of a narcotic and neglect of a dependent. Both were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Johnson was arrested after her 2-year-old son and her then 3-year-old daughter were found by Fort Wayne Police Department officers lying in a bathtub under a running shower in her apartment back on Sept. 29, The Associated Press reported. Johnson’s son died and her daughter survived.

Johnson reportedly told police she was laying in bed on her phone with fake Percocet pills and marijuana near her. According to the AP, the two children began climbing on the bed and she had them go play in a different room. She realized soon after that her pills were missing and reportedly heard her children coughing.

She told officers that she found her children asleep, according to the AP. She said her daughter was barely breathing so her boyfriend suggested putting them in the shower. Officers removed the children from the tub, began CPR, and provided overdose-reversing drugs.

Johnson reportedly told officers she was aware the pills she bought were not Percocet and that they had fentanyl in them which testing confirmed. According to Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, testing was done on the pills and confirmed they contained fentanyl.

Investigators searched the house following the incident and they reportedly found a loaded rifle in the master bedroom, and moldy food in the kitchen and bedrooms, according to court records obtained by Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

An autopsy was conducted on the boy and investigators saw “conditions commonly seen in overdose deaths,” according to court records obtained by the AP.

Johnson is expected to be sentenced on April 14, the AP said.

Since Johnson pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette said she could serve 29 years in prison. 20 years for her son’s death and the other nine are for the injuries her daughter sustained.

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