Mother charged after baby dies from drugs transmitted through breast milk

Bucks County District Attorney's Office

A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with killing her 11-week-old son with a lethal mix of drugs in her breast milk.

At the time of R.J.'s death, Jones said she was taking methadone, which she had been prescribed as part of treatment for a painkiller addiction.

In the early morning hours of April 2, Jones told police she was "too tired" to go downstairs and make a bottle of formula for R.J., according to the affidavit. The baby was crying, and Jones asked her husband to prepare a bottle of formula for him, the affidavit said.

When her husband and R.J.'s dad, Vincent McGovern, got up around 6 a.m., he found them in different rooms and R.J. was crying in his while Jones was sleeping. When she woke up about an hour later, she found the baby was pale with bloody mucous coming from his nose, the affidavit said.

An autopsy performed on the infant revealed a combination of methadone, amphetamine and methamphetamine - allegedly transmitted through Jones' breastmilk - was responsible for the infant's death, according to an affidavit of probable cause. He later died at a hospital.

A judge set Jones' bail at $3 million, cash, and has instructed her not to be in contact with anyone under 18-years-old. She later said, according to police, that she had made the switch three days before the baby's death because she hadn't been making enough breast milk to satisfy R.J.

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"The benefits of breastfeeding largely outweigh any theoretical minimal risks", the article states.

Jones is the latest in a series of US mothers charged for the deaths of their infant children after they breastfed them having previously taken methamphetamine, a stimulant used by more than 12 million people in the United States, according to the government-run National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Investigators say both drugs, in addition to methamphetamine, were in Jones' child's system.

Jones has a 2-year-old son who is now in the care of his father.

Another child in the house, aged two, is now in the care of his father and a preliminary hearing will take place on July 23.


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