Police: Baby who died had fentanyl in her system


COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – A Coventry couple has been charged with felony child cruelty/neglect in the death of their 8-month-old daughter.

According to Coventry police, emergency crews were called to 40 Tillinghast Road for an unresponsive infant on Nov. 19. They rushed the baby to Kent Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A police affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News on Wedneday revealed the child had fentanyl in her system.

Police began an investigation and said they found evidence that revealed criminal neglect involving the child’s parents – Steven Gilchrist, 32, and Jocelyn Belmore, 32.

The pair was arrested Tuesday and charged with a felony count of cruelty to or neglect of a child.

Both are expected to be arraigned Wednesday at Kent County District Court.

The state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) said Belmore had no prior history of child abuse or neglect but Gilchrist was known to the agency in an unrelated case.

The DCYF launched an investigation after learning of the child’s death and notified the Office of the Child Advocate of the incident. The agency on Wednesday said it learned of additional information that supported the charges.

State law requires Rhode Islanders to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the DCYF within 24 hours by calling 1-800-RI-CHILD.

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