Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jhenea Pratt, 23, was charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child after a lethal amount of fentanyl was found in her 17-month-old daughter’s bloodstream.
On April 5, Charlette Napper-Talley was found unconscious and not breathing with blood in her mouth at Pratt’s East Hills apartment. She died later in Children’s Hospital.
When police searched Pratt’s apartment for evidence, they found a pink sippy cup containing a drink. Lab tests revealed the drink was mixed with fentanyl.
“How did the fentanyl get in the cup? I mean, we have some idea. I’m comfortable that we can charge somebody and I’ve authorized that,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said.
Police say Pratt and a male babysitter denied putting fentanyl in the child’s cup.
Authorities believe the baby got sick and died a short time after drinking from the cup.
They believe Pratt was the only person with the child that afternoon.
According to the police report, Pratt was hostile and uncooperative at the hospital and hasn’t said much since then.
“We tried to interview her. She didn’t give us any information. It was kind of, I hate to characterize her attitude except that she was interviewed and she was not helpful. It’s her child,” Zappala said.
Meanwhile, Zappala says new sentencing enhancements call for harsher penalties for offenders.
“If you put fentanyl in play and somebody dies, I want to see you go to jail,” Zappala said. “What the sentencing enhancements will do is put someone in the penitentiary.”
Pratt was arrested Friday and sent to the Allegheny County Jail.