GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) — A mother has been charged in connection to her 12-year-old daughter’s fentanyl-related death.
Mystique Wadena is being charged with child abuse resulting in death and distribution of a controlled substance. The Weld County District Attorney’s Office said Wadena was using and selling fentanyl out of a hotel room with her children present, which led to the 12-year-old girl’s death.
While she didn’t have custody, Wadena had arranged for her three children to visit her on May 2, the night before 911 was called, investigators learned. During that visit, two of the children took some of her fentanyl pills, ultimately ending one of their lives.
FOX31 legal analyst Christopher Decker said the incident showed an “all too common and tragic story of a child getting their hands on a powerful drug that may not have been dosed properly, and a life has ended.”
Just last week, the parents of a 23-month-old girl were charged with murder after she died and was found with meth and 10 times the amount of fentanyl it takes to kill an adult in her blood. Decker said this is becoming a crisis.
“The frequency is too common. The basis here is, typically, that you are dealing with an immensely powerful drug that is not only manufactured but distributed and dosed in ways that are not consistent,” Decker said.
And with these fentanyl deaths being a recent development, the way these cases are prosecuted is consistent with other drug-related charges of this nature.
“The prosecutorial tools are not new. These are being applied in a new set of cases because these fentanyl cases are something that we didn’t see five and 10 years ago,” Decker said.
There have been discussions on legislative changes to address these types of cases by increasing penalties by naming fentanyl, but those have yet to gain momentum.