Woman Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Infant’s Death

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Police are accusing a mother of her 7-month-old baby's death.

Police say they found a controlled substance that may have been heroin in the child's system.

The mother was arrested overnight, and court papers say she had the substance on her finger and then put her finger in the baby's mouth.

Just after midnight on Monday, Hazleton police were called to a home on Laurel Street. Inside, they found a 7-month-old baby boy naked and unresponsive on a bed. The infant died after being taken to the hospital.

"In 37 years of law enforcement, I've seen so many horrific situations, but this is just beyond. I mean, it's just crazy," said Hazleton Police Chief Jerry Speziale.

Police arrested the child's mother, Anyi Medina-Arias, 20, in connection with the child's death.

Court papers indicate Medina-Arias initially told police the child drowned but then later changed her story saying she found a bag of some sort of substance on the street and brought it home.

"It's alleged to be heroin, but we don't know until we get that toxicology, until we get the tests back that we know exactly what we have. We're pretty sure that's what we're dealing with," said Chief Speziale.

Arrest papers say the mother tasted the substance and then put that same finger inside the baby's mouth.

The chief says his officers found more of that substance inside the home.

"Think about it. We're on Thanksgiving eve. We all want to spend time with our families and here we have a 7-month-old infant that lost its life and charging the mother. That's not easy either."

Right now, the mother faces involuntary manslaughter and drug charges. Those charges could be upgraded as the investigation continues.

She is locked up without bail in the Luzerne County jail.

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