Two parents in Virginia are facing charges for their alleged roles in the fatal overdose death of their infant daughter who found a suspect pill on the floor.
Juan Oliva-Ruiz, 19, and Shantica Tillery, 23, of Alexandria, have been indicted by a grand jury on multiple felony counts or the death of their 11-month-old baby, who overdosed on fentanyl last summer, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced on Monday, March 20.
Specifically, each was charged with:
- Involuntary manslaughter;
- Child cruelty resulting in serious injury;
- Child abuse and neglect.
Officers from the Fairfax County Police Department were called to the couple’s Alexandria home on June 21, 2022, when Tillery noticed that the baby had stopped breathing, officials said.
The child was rushed to an area hospital and later pronounced dead.
According to investigators, the child obtained a fentanyl pill that was on the floor, and the abuse and neglect charge stems from the couple’s other child, who had to be removed from the home following the fatal incident.
If convicted, Oliva-Ruiz and Tillery face up to 25 years in prison.
“We know that fentanyl overdoses are on the minds of our community members, and our office is working closely with law enforcement to prevent future tragedies like this one,” Descano said. “The death of an innocent baby in this case is unspeakably tragic.”
The pair are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, March 23.
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