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    Woman charged with infant's overdose homicide in Houma

    By Dave Cohen,


    A thirty-year-old woman is facing negligent homicide charges in the death of her baby.

    Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet announced the arrest today.

    "Meghan Ashleigh Cortez, 30, of Houma, was arrested on charges of Negligent Homicide stemming from the investigation," according to a news release.

    The infant died four months ago.

    "On February 5, 2024, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division were called to a home in the 100 block of St. Louis Street, after reports surfaced of an unresponsive infant within the home, shortly before 2:30 am.  When Deputies arrived, they discovered the body of a six-week-old child who was unresponsive."

    Deputies administered CPR to the infant, but baby died at the hospital.

    "During the preliminary investigation at the home, Cortez confirmed information that she and her two children were asleep in the bed, when she awoke and discovered the infant lying unresponsive next to her.  Cortez stated that she immediately called for assistance and began CPR efforts on her child, until help arrived.  Through further processing of the scene, CSI personnel located evidence of illegal narcotic paraphernalia in multiple locations within the home."

    Investigators say Cortez is a heroin user, who admitted to using the drug hours before the baby's death.

    The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy and classified the infant’s cause of death as homicide by fentanyl overdose.

    Detectives says they determined Cortez had close contact with the infant right after using and handling heroin.

    "A decision was reached to obtain an arrest warrant for Meghan Ashleigh Cortez."

    At the time of this report, Cortez was locked up with a bond set at $500,000.

    Soignet said, “My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of this young victim, as well as our staff who were responsible for the investigation of this tragic event.  Cases involving child victims are truly difficult to endure, and this case is certainly no different.  There was a tremendous amount of investigative work that went into this case, which has led to this necessary outcome.”

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