Parents of toddler who died of fentanyl toxicity charged with murder

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Parents of an 18-month-old girl who died due to fentanyl and methamphetamine toxicity were charged with murder Wednesday. 

At the time of the toddler’s death on August 12, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office recorded a fentanyl blood concentration of 74 nanograms per milliliter in the child. 

This is nearly 15 times the 5 nanograms per milliliter that can kill a person. 

Both parents also had fentanyl and other opioids in their systems, the DA’s office said.

According to the San Jose Police Department, the young girl’s father, Derek Vaughn Rayo, 27, was served with a homicide warrant on Tuesday. 

Rayo had already been in custody since August 13 for an unrelated warrant. 

Officials state they are looking for the mother, Kelly Gene Richardson, 28, who had also been charged with murder. 

On August 12, SJPD arrived at the couple’s home on the 1500 block of Huddersfield Court after Rayo called 911. 

EMTs “observed that Baby W. Doe had been dead for hours.” 

Investigators said a scraping tool with fentanyl residue was found on a rug underneath the baby’s body. 

Fentanyl was also found on a nightstand in the master bedroom and on a desk. 

Rayo’s arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 22 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. If convicted, each parent faces 15 years to life in prison, according to the DA’s office.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.