Police: Pa. mom charged with homicide after giving toddler fentanyl-laced drink in sippy cup

(FOX NEWS) -- A Pennsylvania mother has been charged after police say she gave her 17-month-old daughter a drink tainted with fentanyl in her sippy cup.

Jhenea Pratt, 23, was arrested and charged with homicide and endangering the welfare of a child following the death of her daughter, Charlette Napper-Talley, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Officers found the 17-month-old girl unable to breathe in April at Pratt’s apartment in Pittsburgh's East Hills neighborhood.

A pink sippy cup with a red liquid was discovered on the toddler’s bed.

The child was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Authorities conducted tests and found fentanyl was present in Napper-Talley’s blood and on the sippy cup. On Friday, her death was ruled a homicide due to fentanyl poisoning.

Investigators say Pratt and her boyfriend, Albert Williams, were responsible for watching the girl the day she died. Williams said he had given the girl fish sticks and a drink in her sippy cup before the couple picked up Pratt from school. Williams left shortly after to pick up marijuana for Pratt.

The toddler reportedly appeared fine until Pratt gave her a drink in the sippy cup and put her to bed. The 23-year-old said she smoked marijuana before checking on her daughter an hour later and finding her unresponsive. 

Investigators said that while Mr. Williams gave Napper-Talley a drink in the cup, she drank from it before noon and “would have died very shortly after ingesting [fentanyl],” according to the report.

“Jhenea Pratt was the only person present during the afternoon hours that was with Charlette,” the affidavit said.

Pratt also told authorities that her daughter may have died after drinking a fruit-flavored drink that “tasted funny to her.”

The couple denied using, transporting or storing heroin or fentanyl.

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