OXFORD — A local woman has been charged in connection with the death of a 1-year-old child who police say was exposed to fentanyl, morphine and cocaine.
Rebecca J. Dixon, 35, of Blue Ridge Terrace, was taken into custody Tuesday on a warrant, charging her with second-degree manslaughter in connection with an incident earlier this year.
Police said Dixon was unable to post her $100,000 bond. Court records show that amount was lowered to $75,000 during a court appearance Tuesday, but she was not released from custody.
In his affidavit for an arrest warrant for Dixon, Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad Detective Jared Barbero indicated the charge against her stemmed from the death of a 1-year-old boy.
The investigation began after a 911 call to state police dispatch just before 2 p.m. on July 6.
A woman, later identified as Dixon, called to report a baby in her Blue Ridge Terrace home was not breathing, police said. When officers arrived, Barbero said, Dixon was holding a baby who appeared to be limp.
Medics arrived shortly after police and took the 1-year-old to Griffin Hospital in Derby, where a doctor pronounced him dead and said the child had “no signs of life for approximately 70 minutes,” according to the affidavit.
That day, Dixon called out of work, and told her mother the child was “acting fussy and cranky when he woke up,” the affidavit said.
Dixon’s mother told police that she saw Dixon take the baby into her room that morning and kept him in there for the “entire morning and afternoon,” the affidavit said. Around 1 p.m., her mother told police, she heard her daughter call out and she ran upstairs, according to the affidavit.
The woman told Barbero she saw the 1-year-old lying face up on the bed “with no signs of life,” the affidavit said. Dixon and her mother started CPR and called 911.
When Barbero talked to Dixon, she told him the baby fell asleep face down in the crook of her elbow around 12:30 p.m. The affidavit said she told Barbero she also fell asleep and noticed the baby was not moving and felt limp only when she woke up.
Dixon consented to have her blood taken for analysis at the hospital that day, the affidavit stated.
Investigators processing the Blue Ridge Terrace home found evidence of “recent narcotics use,” including paraphernalia and empty packaging in various spots, the affidavit said.
During an Aug. 7 interview with investigators at Troop A in Southbury about the child’s death, police asked about the paraphernalia — which the affidavit stated was “consistent with heroin usage” — found in the home. She told police her and her husband use it, according to the affidavit.
When asked if there was any chance the 1-year-old might have come into contact with any heroin, she told police “she did not think so, as they were both careful about their use,” the affidavit said.
About a month after Dixon’s interview with state police, James Gill, the state’s chief medical examiner, told investigators on Sept. 9 that he classified the manner of death as homicide, the affidavit said.
Gill told investigators the cause was “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and morphine, with recent cocaine exposure,” the affidavit said.
On Sept. 10, Barbero spoke with a supervisory toxicology analyst, who said the blood taken from Dixon the day of the incident contained more than six difference substances, including fentanyl, morphine, cocaine and benzodiazapines, according to the affidavit.
Barbero said a review of the 1-year-old’s 75-page medical history showed the victim was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome — which, according to the affidavit, happens when a newborn is exposed to opioid drugs while in the womb — with withdrawal symptoms.
During an interview with state police on Oct. 1, the affidavit said, Dixon told investigators she used heroin the night before the child’s death but not the next day. She told investigators she took Valium — a benzodiazapine that had sedative properties.
Based on the investigation, Barbero applied for an arrest warrant, charging Dixon in connection with the child’s death.
Dixon, who appeared in court Tuesday, was unable to post bond. She is next expected in court to enter a plea on the charge on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.
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