ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) — Two Virginia parents were indicted Monday after their 11-month-old baby died from a fentanyl overdose in June 2022, officials said.
Nineteen-year-old Juan Oliva-Ruiz and 23-year-old Shantica Tillery will each face up to 25 years in prison for the incident, according to the Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney's Office.
On June 21, Tillery reportedly noticed that her baby wasn't breathing. After bringing the child to the Inova Fairfax Hospital, the baby was pronounced dead.
Police responded to the couple's Alexandria home to investigate and determined that the child obtained a fentanyl pill that was out on the floor, officials said.
Oliva-Ruiz and Tiller were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, child cruelty resulting in serious injury and child abuse and neglect.
The child abuse and neglect charges pertain to the couple's other child who was removed from the home following the overdose incident, the attorney's office said.
Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano spoke about the tragedy.
"We know that fentanyl overdoses are on the minds of our community members, and our office is working closely with law enforcement to prevent future tragedies like this one,” Descano said. "The death of an innocent baby, in this case, is unspeakably tragic."
Fairfax County law enforcement also said on Monday that there are services to help people with drug abuse problems so that incidents like this don't happen in the future.