Parents Charged After Fentanyl Found in Body of 8-Month-Old Daughter

Steven Gilchrist and Jocelyn Belmore of Rhode Island were charged with felony neglect after police said fentanyl was found in their eight-month-old daughter.

The couple, both 32, was arrested Tuesday, reports FOX News. They both pleaded not guilty to felony counts of cruelty to or neglect of a child. They were arraigned on Wednesday.

Coventry, Rhode Island police said authorities received a call on Nov. 19 when their daughter, Mia Dorothy Gilchrist, was found unresponsive. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was found dead.

A preliminary toxicology report found that Mia had fentanyl in her system, police said. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, and police are still not sure how the drug got into Mia's system.

The judge set bail at $50,000 for the parents and were ordered to stay away from children under 16.

Police Lt. Matthew Blair told the Providence Journal that more charges could be added after the autopsy results come in.

Gilchrist and Belmore both have criminal records. Gilchrist has faced larceny, shoplifting and domestic violence charges. Belmore's record includes a DUI and traffic violations.

However, the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families said Belmore was not involved in previous child abuse cases. Gilchrist was involved in an unrelated case closed "several years" ago, a DCYF spokeswoman told the Journal.

On the day Mia died, a Facebook fundraising page appeared. Over $4,700 was raised for her funeral before the fundraiser ended.

"We had 8 months of nothing but love and joy with this sweet girl and the best memories one could make," the page reads. "The sun defiantly shined a little brighter and rainbows seemed to be more colorful with her on this earth."


Photo: Coventry Police Department