Toddler dies of fentanyl exposure, mother arrested

1 min read

A 23-month-old boy died in October after he was exposed to fentanyl. 

According to the Fremont Police Department, the boy’s mother was arrested for murder Tuesday. 

On October 18, at around 8:30 a.m., the victim arrived at a local emergency room unresponsive and not breathing. The child was driven to the hospital by his mother and other family members. 

Shortly after, the boy was pronounced deceased. 

Investigation reveals the boy was initially found unresponsive in the bedroom he shared with his mother on the 4300 block of Gina Street in Fremont. 

After a search warrant was served at the home, “items associated with illicit drug use” was found inside the bedroom. 

After testing, the presence of fentanyl was confirmed on the items. 

A toxicology report revealed the baby had “a high level of fentanyl” in his system when he died, per police.

Gastelum-Vera was booked into the Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of murder. FPD detectives are still investigating the death.


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.