WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Police have arrested a Providence man in connection with the death of a 15-year-old girl who was in temporary care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
Court records indicate that 34-year-old Juan Pizarro gave the teenager fentanyl at the Motel 6 on Jefferson Boulevard. The young girl, who hasn’t been identified, was later found dead in Providence.
Pizarro has been charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conducting a controlled substance transaction resulting in the death of a minor.
DCYF said while the teenager was temporarily in their custody, she ran away from home and a missing persons report had been filed.
“DCYF is working with the family to provide support during this difficult time,” a DCYF spokesperson said.
Pizarro was arrested last week after investigators connected him to the young girl’s death.
Rep. Julie Casimiro, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, called the teenager’s death “another failure on the part of DCYF.”
“I am appalled,” Casimiro said in a statement. “We have been banging the drums on these issues of inadequate services for kids in state care for years.”
“We gave them money to hire front line workers,” she continued. “They have had two years to make the hires and provide better support for youth and families. When is enough actually enough?”
Pizarro is expected to be arraigned Monday.
The teenager’s death remains under investigation at this time.