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MCMEO investigates 5-year-old's death as possible fentanyl overdose, homicide

Milwaukee County Medical Examiner.JPG
Posted at 9:42 AM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:31:12-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said it is investigating a 5-year-old's death as a possible fentanyl overdose and homicide.

TMJ4 News initially reported on the 5-year-old's death last week when the ME called it "not suspicious." The 5-year-old has now been identified as Kayden Jones.

Police said they responded to N. 37th Street and N. Darien Street around 11:25 p.m. When they arrived, they found Jones unresponsive and pronounced him dead.

Officials said there were no visible signs of trauma.

Now, a week later, MCMEO said they are investigating Jones' death as a probable fentanyl poisoning and a possible homicide.

The examiner's office said final testing is still pending.

A young Milwaukee mother, a 24-year-old woman, is expected to be charged in the coming days for the death of her five-year-old son.

Milwaukee police issued the following statement:

"The Milwaukee Police Department is prioritizing the safety of our youth by stepping up enforcement of a curfew that already exists. If youth are out after curfew they could be cited. In addition, parents and guardians may also be cited for their youth violating curfew. MPD is asking for assistance from parents, guardians and everyone in the community to ensure their children are home by curfew. Curfew tickets do not affect an individual’s driving record.

The Milwaukee Police Department continues to work with our elected officials, our public safety partners and the community to cultivate a safe atmosphere for everyone to enjoy during events."

He is at least the sixth child to die from a fentanyl overdose in Milwaukee County in the past 16 months, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Three of those victims were just one year old.

MCMEO also revealed that before 2019, most child overdose deaths in Milwaukee County were a result of prescription-medications. But since 2019, every child overdose death except one in Milwaukee County, is a result of illegal drugs.

“That just replicates what we’re seeing with adults and the prevalence of these drugs in our community,” said Sara Schreiber, the Director of the Toxicology Lab at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. “These kids should not be coming into contact with these drugs. Their bodies are opiate naive. These substances become toxic or fatal to them at exceedingly small concentrations because of their potency."

Michelle Jaskulski of Cudahy works with the Addiction Policy Forum. Her two sons battled drug addiction for years but survived and recovered. She is pushing for everyone - especially parents battling drug addiction - to get a medication lock box.

“It's so easily preventable,” she said. “If that is the one small thing you can do to keep someone safe, it is worth a little bit of extra effort. So many people think it would never happen to them, but even legally prescribed medication can so easily fall into the wrong hands or be accidentally ingested. It could make the difference in keeping a child out of harm’s way.”

She says you can get a medication lock box for free, or very cheap at many community organizations, health departments and pharmacies. She also recommends everyone have Naloxone/Narcan on hand. You do not need a prescription for the medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

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