PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Three people have been arrested on murder charges in the death of a 2-year-old boy in Pawtucket.
Police said the boy died at the hospital back in December, and his cause of death was later determined to be acute fentanyl intoxication.
The boy’s mom, Jessaline Andrade, 26, of Cranston, was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of cruelty to or neglect of a child, according to police, while Stephano Castro, 31, of Providence, and Yara Chum, 33, of Pawtucket, were both charged with second-degree murder.
Police said they found the boy unresponsive after responding to a Sayles Avenue home on Dec. 10. The apartment was in deplorable condition and lacked basic furniture, police said, adding that they also discovered equipment for manufacturing and distributing drugs.
The boy’s death was ruled a homicide. His 8-year-old brother also tested positive for fentanyl exposure but survived, according to police.
Castro and Chum were arraigned on the charges in court Friday, and Andrade is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
Pawtucket City Councilwoman Melissa DaRosa said described the details of this investigation as “disturbing.”
“When a child loses their life, especially to fentanyl, somebody needs to be held responsible for that very awful decision that was made,” she said.
DaRosa said this should serve as a tragic reminder as to how lethal fentanyl can be.
12 News has confirmed that the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) was previously involved with the family, but not at the time of the boy’s death.