Parents become suspects in the death of 1-year-old from an apparent heroin overdose
Police in Utah, U.S.A. are currently investigating the tragic death of a 1-year-old girl due to an apparent heroin overdose.
Police in Utah, U.S.A. are currently investigating the tragic death of 1-year-old Penny Cormani due to an apparent heroin overdose.
According to the baby's mother Cassandra Richards, she had put her baby girl down for a nap with 3 ounces of milk in a bottle at around 11 a.m.
But by the time she went to check on her baby, she was no longer responding.
She reportedly tried to perform CPR prior to calling 911 but was unfortunately unable to revive her daughter.
The incident happened on December 2, reports Fox13. When paramedics responded to an emergency call, they were stunned to find the lifeless infant, unresponsive and with bluish lips.
The baby was declared dead a few minutes after being transported to the nearest hospital.
The autopsy performed by a medical examiner later found a lethal amount of Heroin and Codeine in her system.
Reports found that on the day before the tragedy, the baby and her parents were staying with David and Sina Belgard at their home.
Authorities reportedly got consent to search the Belgard home where they found numerous drug paraphernalia used to make drugs such as heroin and codeine.
These incriminating materials were found inside the room where Richards was staying with her baby.
David Belgard told authorities that he had witnessed the baby's mom taking drugs, which they were passing off as legitimate oral prescriptions.
Belgard told CBS News, "It was tragic, it was horrible."
In an interview with KUTV, one of their neighbors said that Penny's parents had been known to be embroiled in drugs. She also said that the newborn had been exposed to drugs.
“Cassandra and Casey both deny any illicit drug use and state that they consume their medications orally as prescribed,” states the warrant. “Both Casey and Cassandra reported that the paraphernalia belonged to either David or Sina.”
According to his criminal history, David Belgard has been arrested and/or convicted for driving under the influence, drug possession, giving false information to police and resisting arrest.
As of this writing, no arrests have been made pertaining to Penny's case. But just a few days after her death, Penny's father Casey Cormani was arrested and charged for felony heroin possession.
On the next page, we take a closer look at drug addiction among Filipino parents
It's a sad reality that many parents, along with striving to raise their children, are fighting losing battles with drug addiction.
In the Philippines, the incidence of drug abuse has been attributed to corruption and poor law enforcement. The most commonly abused drugs are alcohol, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Shabu (caffeinated methamphetamine) is also one of the most widely used addictive drugs in the country.
The dangers of drugs like Shabu is that it doesn't take too long before one gets addicted to it. It also causes disruption in the person's ability to become a thriving member of society, unable to hold down a job or keep lasting relationships.
The person addicted to drugs may also eventually unwittingly turn to a life of crime to feed their addiction. Many cases of domestic abuse and other forms of violence also arise when parents are unable to give up drugs.
Families and communities being torn apart due to drug addiction makes this a pressing personal concern but a widespread societal issue that needs to be addressed consistently.
There are many programs and institutions in the Philippines which can help those struggling with addiction take back their lives.
The first step in getting help is asking for it.
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