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2 people charged after 11-month-old overdoses in St. Louis County

A 21-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man are charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a class B felony.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An 11-month-old girl in north St. Louis County is the latest-known juvenile victim to suffer from a fentanyl overdose.

According to the St. Louis County Police Department, this overdose is the 10th incident in St. Louis County involving a child and fentanyl.

"We hear these things happening more than we should," Amanda Hackmann, lead forensic services coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri said.

As Lead Forensic Services Coordinator, Hackmann interviews children who witness drug abuse.

"Within the last year we've seen quite a few either overdoses or deaths, that being an infant or we're seeing youth, adolescents teenagers who are using fentanyl," Hackmann said.

County police responded to the 911 call Thursday in the Glasgow Village neighborhood. Charges followed Friday. 

Destini McConnell, 21, and 22-year-old Jerome Jones are both charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a class B felony. St. Louis County police said in an update that Jones was taken into custody on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Both he and McConnell are being held on $100,000 cash-only bond.

Credit: St. Louis County Police Department
Destini McConnell, Jerome Jones

"Typically, that's not the first time that the parents or the child has experienced that type of situation with drug abuse," Hackmann said.

The charging documents released by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell's office said the responding St. Louis County officer believes Jones is dealing fentanyl.

"Just even the minute amount, the tip of a pencil can cause an overdose in that child when it comes to fentanyl," Hackmann said.

The report said there was about a 15-minute delay between when the child became unconscious and when 911 was called.

"The effects of that child being unresponsive could cause severe damage like this child being in the hospital," Hackmann said.

Bell's office sent a statement saying "No one responsible for the care of a child should be altering their consciousness with powerful drugs such as fentanyl, and no one using such powerful drugs should ever leave them within reach of any child, any youth or anyone. These deaths are entirely preventable, and anyone who's negligence results in the death of an innocent child, will be held accountable by this office."

"You can pay the price with the death of your child, because it is such a highly concentrated deadly drug," Hackmann said.

Charging documents said the child is hospitalized and she will most likely suffer serious brain damage if she survives.

Police did not say if the child is related to the suspects.

They did note that Jones, who has not been located by police, has an extensive record of arrests.

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