Rhode Island Parents Charged After Fentanyl Found in Deceased Infant's System
According to authorities, "the investigation remains ongoing" and additional criminal counts could be forthcoming
A Rhode Island couple was arraigned on felony child neglect charges Wednesday days after the death of their eight-month-old daughter, PEOPLE learns.
The charges were filed by Coventry police after toxicology tests revealed the presence of fentanyl — an opioid pain medication — in the deceased infant’s system.
Steven Gilchrist and Jocelyn Belmore, both 32, are being held on $50,000 bail.
The cause of death for Mia Dorothy Gilchrist has not been released, pending a final determination from the Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office, a statement from the Coventry police confirms.
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“The possibility exists that charges against the parents may be upgraded,” the statement adds.
According to authorities, “the investigation remains ongoing.”
Police were called to the couple’s Coventry home the morning of November 19, after receiving a report concerning an unresponsive infant.
“Upon arrival, rescue personnel located an eight month-old female that was immediately transported to Kent Hospital where she was later pronounced dead,” the police statement reads.
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An investigation was initiated, and “evidence was discovered that revealed criminal neglect involving the parents of the infant,” according to the statement.
Neither parent has entered a plea to the charge and it was unclear Friday if either had hired an attorney who could comment on their behalf.