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Baby overdoses on cocaine and fentanyl, parents charged: Sheriff

Jessica Strickland and David Chappele Jr., are facing aggravated manslaughter charges in the overdose death of an 8-month-old child. (Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

A man and woman from central Florida are facing charges after their 8-month-old baby overdosed on drugs, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities arrested 29-year-old David Williams Chappele Jr. and 27-year-old Jessica Marie Strickland of Cocoa on charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

The investigation began in September when deputies responded to a call about an unresponsive baby at a home in Cocoa. The baby died later at the hospital. The medical examiner, according to the sheriff's office, said the baby died from an overdose of cocaine and fentanyl.

The sheriff's office said Chappele and Strickland went to sleep with the infant on a mattress on the floor of the living room. Investigators believe Strickland used cocaine while caring for the infant.

Investigators also allege Chappele wore multiple fentanyl patches that were cut in half and that the residue from the patches transferred to the baby.

Chappele faces charges for allowing the baby to be near a dangerous narcotic. Strickland is facing charges for knowing about the possible danger to the child from the drugs being used by both parents, the sheriff's office said.

Strickland remains at the Brevard County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Chappele is out on bail.

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