ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – An infant died after ingesting fentanyl last month in north St. Louis County. Three adults now face criminal charges in her death.
Prosecutors have filed child endangerment charges against Amanda Tufts, 35, and James Collins, 25, in the child’s death. Liliana Leake died at 21 months old after ingesting fentanyl. Police have not disclosed the relationship between the child and the two adults.
On Nov. 12, the St. Louis County Police Department responded to a call for a sick child in the 200 block of Northport Hills Drive. Officers found Leake unconscious and rushed her to a hospital for treatment, but she later died from her injuries.
According to probable cause statements obtained by FOX 2, Tufts and Collins both “had knowledge” that Leake ingested fentanyl and “intentionally” did not seek medical attention for her. Another toddler-age child at the home was exposed to controlled substances and other paraphernalia.
Responding officers later found powder residue, capsules and firearms inside the home. Medical professionals also evaluated the second child at the home, who is reportedly in good health.
“These are tragedies that can be avoided,” said Aaron Laxton, executive director of Assisted Recover Centers of America in St. Louis.
He said only a small amount of fentanyl can be deadly. Laxton also wants the St. Louis community to know help is available.
“A lot of resources have been made available by the Missouri Department of Mental Health” Laxton said. “Our organization is one of those where an individual can call today. We’re going to get you into treatment. We’re going to get you the care that you need, and our goal is to make sure that the family unit is able to stay together and stay healthy.”
Laxton said he hopes the St. Louis community will make Narcan as accessible as possible. The drug reverses overdoses.
“The kid paid the price for their irresponsibility,” said Tony Cook, a contractor who has been doing some painting work at the apartment complex where the toddler lived.
Cook said if there is a lesson learned, it’s to avoid fentanyl.
“You’ll likely end up dead or in jail,” he said.
Tufts and Collins are both jailed in St. Louis County without bond. Both will next appear in court on Dec. 8. Both are charged with two counts of child endangerment, one linked to the death of a child. Some relatives of Tufts and Collins allege they are not guilty.
A third adult, Lori Garrett, 39, was charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death.