8-month-old exposed to fentanyl; police searching for man who brought child to hospital

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – St. Louis County authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating a man wanted for potentially exposing a male infant to opioids over the summer.

On Monday, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged 23-year-old Portis Williams with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest for a felony.

According to Officer Tracy Panus, a county police spokeswoman, the incident unfolded on the evening of July 10 outside at Christian Northeast Hospital on Dunn Road. County police were at the hospital investigating another incident when they noticed a vehicle speeding into the parking lot.

That vehicle brought an 8-month-old boy to the emergency room. Detectives learned the child had been exposed to fentanyl in the 12300 block of Rocket Drive and was experiencing cardiac arrest and brain damage.

“There were a couple of people who came racing into the emergency room with an 8-month-old baby, who it turned out was exposed to fentanyl, an opioid,” said Police Officer, Tracy Panus, of the St. Louis County Police Department.  “One of the people dropping the baby off was the father (Williams) … that baby is still, to this day, receiving life-saving treatment at the hospital, so today, charges were issued on the biological father of that baby, who is how, roughly 10 months old,” said Panus.

Police attempted to arrest the driver, later identified as Williams, but the suspect sped away.

Panus said the baby remains hospitalized and has suffered permanent brain damage.

Police are not aware of Williams attempting to see his son since he left him at the hospital.

Williams faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted on both counts.

Anyone with information on Williams’ whereabouts is asked to contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210. You can remain anonymous or potentially receive a reward by calling CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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