A 29-year-old woman from Milwaukee is now facing multiple charges in connection with the death of her 10-month-old baby, which was revealed to have a presence of fentanyl in the child’s blood, according to the medical examiner. Kiara Hopson is now charged with the following criminal counts:
- Neglecting a child-consequence is great bodily harm
- Neglecting a child-consequence is bodily harm (three counts)
According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee firefighters responded to an apartment on N. Water Street on the evening of October 25, a couple of blocks north of Holton, following a report of an unresponsive child. Upon arrival, they found a 10-month-old child in need of immediate medical attention. Despite efforts to save the child’s life, the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.
During police interviews, Hopson, the mother of the deceased child, stated that on the afternoon of October 25, she briefly stepped out, leaving the older children to watch the younger ones. Upon her return, she was informed that the baby had fallen asleep in the high chair. Subsequently, she placed the child on a mattress on the living room floor. A few minutes later, sensing something was wrong, she found the child limp, prompting one of the older children to call 911.
A search of Hopson’s apartment uncovered a large money counter on the kitchen island, two digital scales (one with a white powdery substance suspected to be narcotics), and white latex gloves knotted together at the top of the garbage. The autopsy conducted on October 26 revealed no signs of trauma or disease that could explain the child’s death.
On November 2, a narcotics field test administered by Milwaukee police on the white powdery substance from Hopson’s residence returned positive for fentanyl. The toxicology report from the child’s autopsy on November 6 confirmed the presence of fentanyl in the child’s blood, with the cause of death presumed to be acute drug intoxication.
Due to the presence of illicit substances in the victim’s blood, drug testing was conducted on the other children in the residence, revealing three children testing positive for drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine.
Since 2018, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office has recorded seven drug overdose deaths under the age of 5, all linked to fentanyl. Dr. Ryan Feldman, Clinical Toxicologist for the Wisconsin Poison Center, emphasized the potency of fentanyl and its potential fatality if ingested by children.
Hopson appeared in Milwaukee County court on Saturday, November 11, with a cash bond set at $10,000.