15-month-old foster child may have been exposed to fentanyl before death, sources say

Authorities in Massachusetts are investigating the death of a 15-month-old girl who died at Lawrence hospital over the weekend.

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The girl, who was in foster care at a home on Howard Street, was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital on Sunday morning after her foster father called 911 to report she was unresponsive, the Essex County District Attorney's Office said. She was pronounced dead a short time after arriving at the hospital.

The girl showed "no obvious signs of trauma," according to the DA's office.

Multiple sources, including the child's biological family, however, told Boston's WFXT that the girl may have been exposed to fentanyl.

Family members gave WFXT a photo of the young girl Wednesday afternoon.

Jeremy Barrientos first learned of the news of his biological daughter's sudden death when DCF came knocking at his door.

"I don't understand how that could happen. How does that happen, I don't understand," Barrientos said.

The 18-year-old admits he's had no involvement in his baby girl's life since she was born 15 months ago. Her 2-year-old brother also was living at the same foster home.

"I wish it went different. I wish she was OK. It hurts; it does hurt," he said.

Sources also told the news station that the girl showed signs of a fever while at day care four days before her sudden death.

An investigation has been launched and the state's chief medical examiner is working to determine the cause of death.

DCF told WFXT that it "received a report and is investigating in collaboration with law enforcement."

WFXT asked DCF when the agency licensed the Lawrence foster home, but a spokesperson could not comment because of the ongoing investigation.

Credit: Boston25News.com

Credit: Boston25News.com

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