BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A woman from Boynton Beach is facing criminal charges in the death of a 10-month-old girl from fentanyl intoxication.
Police arrested 32-year-old Kelly Ann Kirwan on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child.
The investigation began on March 31 when police responded to a call of a baby having a medical episode in a car at the intersection of Military Trail and Boynton Beach Boulevard. Police found the girl in a car seat in the back of an Audi SUV. The arrest report did not reveal Kirwan's relationship to the baby, but she was driving the SUV.
Emergency crews took the unconscious and unresponsive baby to Bethesda East Hospital where the medical staff said the infant suffered cardiac arrest of alcohol toxicity.
On April 1, doctors transported the girl to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, intubated and in grave condition.
"The baby did not have any brain activity or nerve response," wrote investigators in their report.
After getting a search warrant for the woman's home, detectives found an empty capsule on a bed that may have contained a narcotic or other illegal substances like fentanyl. According to the arrest report, police also found a pump nasal spray and baby pacifier nearby, and a second capsule floating in the toilet bowl that appeared to have bite marks on it.
The chemistry report on the empty capsule from the bed showed a positive result for Para-Fluorofentanyl, a Schedule I narcotic, and fentanyl, a Schedule II narcotic. However, due to the limited amount of material, a confirmatory test couldn't be performed, investigators said in the report.
On April 5, doctors removed the baby from life support.
On July 26, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the manner of death as a homicide, and determined the cause of death as "intoxication of fluorofentanyl and fentanyl due to ingestion of these illicit narcotics in an unsafe environment."
Dr. Gordon Johnson, a former medical examiner and pathologist with the T. Leron Jefferson Medical Society, talked to CBS12 News reporter Amber Raub about the impact of fentanyl.
"One kilogram, which is about 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, will kill 500,000 people," said Johnson. "So think of a couple of pounds of assault light material that will kill 500,000 people, so with that, you can see it would take very little to suppress the respiration and kill a baby."
Kirwan is due back in court in November. She must wear a GPS monitor, and have no contact with witnesses or anyone under the age of 18.