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Court docs: 2-year-old nearly died from fentanyl, couple charged

WANE Ft. Wayne logo WANE Ft. Wayne 5/13/2022
Court docs: 2-year-old nearly died from fentanyl, couple charged © Provided by WANE Ft. Wayne Court docs: 2-year-old nearly died from fentanyl, couple charged

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The boy had been watching television when he all of a sudden he acted drunk.

He began to fall over, his mother later told investigators. Then, the 2-year-old went over to the front door of the home and laid down on the ground. His mother asked if he was tired.

His breathing became shallow. The boy’s lips turned blue. His eyes rolled into the back of his head.

His mother called 911.

Advocates speak out on National Fentanyl Awareness Day

Somehow, the boy had been exposed to fentanyl, and his parents are now facing neglect of dependent charges for keeping the drug near him and his infant sibling, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

Allen County Prosecutors on Friday formally charged 38-year-old Sara M. Lawson and 39-year-old Manuel T. Martinez each with a Level 3 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and a Level 6 count of neglect of a dependent.

Police and medics were called to the couple’s home just before 1 a.m. on June 16, according to court documents.

Once there, they found the toddler unconscious and not breathing. Medics took him to a local hospital in critical condition, according to court documents. While there, officers noted another child – maybe only a few months old – in the home.

Lawson at first told investigators that she had previously been addicted to pills but was clean for the past year, according to court documents. She said officers might find substances in the home that were designed to help people ween themselves off drugs.

That story would later change.

In talking to a Indiana Department of Child Services case worker later that morning, Lawson said she and Martinez had been using fentanyl immediately prior to the child collapsing on the ground and turning blue, according to court documents.

She said in those documents the couple snort the drug.

The caseworker also interviewed Martinez, who also added that the couple had been using fentanyl just before their child went unconscious, according to court documents. He said they use the drug in powder form.

Martinez told the caseworker that his child may have become exposed to the fentanyl by cuddling with him because he “sweats a lot,” court documents said.

In another interview investigators conducted with both Martinez and Lawson, the couple said they began using fentanyl due to the stress of having a new baby. They added, though, they keep the drug in a bathroom out of reach of their two children or in a baggie in their pants pockets, away from the kids.

Both admitted the children have access to the bathroom and that they used the fentanyl in that bathroom just prior to their son showing signs he had been exposed to the drug, according to court documents.

The boy tested positive for the drug, according to court documents.

So did his mother, court documents said.

Later, Lawson admitted in court documents to continuing to use the drug even after the incident with her son.

Warrants for the arrest of Lawson and Martinez have both been issued. It’s unclear whether they’ve been booked into Allen County Jail as of yet.

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