Complaint lays out new details in case of 11-month-old’s overdose death

MADISON, Wis. — An 11-month-old girl who died from a drug overdose last July had 13 times the amount of fentanyl in her blood than the amount necessary to kill an adult, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint filed Tuesday lays out new details in the case against the baby’s parents who are now charged in her death.

Derrick Hawkins, 25, and Kelsey Kindschy, 32, both of Madison, each face a felony charge of neglecting a child where the consequence is death as a party to a crime stemming from the baby’s death at Meriter Hospital on July 20, 2021. Police arrested both Hawkins and Kindschy on Friday.

In court Tuesday afternoon, cash bonds were set at $5,000 for Hawkins and $4,000 for Kindschy, online records show. Both are set to appear for preliminary hearings on Sept. 13.

RELATED: Parents of 11-month-old who died from overdose last year arrested, Madison police say

According to the complaint, Kindschy left the baby with Hawkins at her home for roughly half an hour on July 20 while she went to meet another man. That man told police he and Kindschy had sex and that he had sold Hawkins crack cocaine earlier that day.

The complaint alleges Kindschy also bought heroin from the man during their later encounter.

When Kindschy got home, she found the baby with a large snot bubble in her nose. According to the complaint, Kindschy used a nasal suction tube to remove the snot and then saw blood coming from the baby’s nose. The baby was still on her back how Kindschy said she had left her but was “kind of cold.”

Hawkins reportedly told police he was in the bathroom the entire time Kindschy was gone. She said he may have been “shooting up” and found an orange cap in the bathroom when she got home, the complaint alleges.

When Kindschy, Hawkins and the baby arrived at Meriter Hospital, the baby was cold, unresponsive and did not show signs of breathing or a pulse. A doctor declared her dead at 11 p.m. that night.

An autopsy found the baby died from the combined effects of fentanyl and morphine toxicity. She had 52 ng/ml of fentanyl in her blood, 13 times the amount that is considered fatal for an adult, the complaint said.

The autopsy did not show any traumatic injuries or signs of natural diseases.

According to the complaint, Kindschy told police the baby was born addicted to methadone.

The complaint does not provide specifics as to how the baby may have ingested the drugs responsible for her death.

Prior abuse, drug use concerns

The complaint also outlines eight instances in which Dane County Child Protective Services received reports about the baby being physically abused or neglected. The reports ranged from days after the baby’s birth — in which it was reported an umbilical drug screen tested positive for THC, methadone and hydromorphone — to a report less than a month before her death in which a person reported Kindschy was using drugs and having sex while the baby was present. The final report also raised concern about possible sexual abuse since the child had been observed grabbing her private area.

Other reports outlined instances in which Hawkins allegedly physically abused Kindschy in front of the baby and questioned whether Kindschy was fit to be a parent given her drug use.

CPS screened out the majority of those reports, according to the complaint. Some were deemed unsubstantiated.

The state Department of Children and Families reviewed Dane County’s response to the child’s death and found no reason to change policies or practices after reviewing the number of times CPS had screened out or unsubstantiated reports of abuse about the child. The report also noted that in the county’s investigation into the baby’s death, Dane County didn’t find enough evidence in their initial assessment to substantiate neglect or physical abuse as contributing to the death.

RELATED: Dane County’s CPS head disputes how police described their involvement before a toddler’s death

Dane County CPS has come under fire from MPD before in connection to a toddler’s death earlier this spring where police say past abuse was reported to CPS and social workers said there wasn’t enough evidence to remove the child from the home before her death.