Parents charged in 1-year-old daughter's fatal heroin overdose

(INSIDE EDITION) A Utah mother and father have been arrested in the death of their 1-year-old daughter, who died after a fatal heroin overdose where she ingested enough of the drug to kill an adult, authorities said.

Casey Cormani, 31, and Cassandra Richards, 32, were arrested Tuesday after a toxicology report confirmed Penny Cormani's cause of death on December 2, Provo Police said.

Officials said there was sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that the parents were responsible for the death of their child.

Since little Penny’s death, detectives have conducted witness interviews, suspect interrogations and gathered physical evidence until they were ready to make the arrests, police said.

Cormani and Richards were booked on probable cause for first-degree felony child endangerment resulting in a death and for possession of drug paraphernalia. They were being held in the Utah County Jail on $25,000 bond each, according to county records.

They have not yet been formally charged.

It was not immediately clear how Penny ingested the heroin that ultimately killed her.

Richards told police she found her daughter unresponsive about an hour after putting the baby down for a nap, according to a search warrant.

Richards said she attempted CPR on Penny, whose lips had turned purple or blue, and was not responding, the search warrant said. She called 911 and Penny was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police said in court documents they found “burnt foil with residue and straws with burnt ends and residue,” which could indicate heroin had been used, at the home Penny’s parents were staying.

Though Cormani and Richards denied the paraphernalia was theirs, they and the homeowners allegedly have histories of drug use, court documents said.


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