Parents face murder charges following baby’s fentanyl-related death amid startling increase in child fentanyl poisonings

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – A Nevada eight-month-old is one of the latest children to die from fentanyl poisoning. The baby’s parents, Jeffrey Terakami and Kara Dugan, are behind bars charged with second-degree murder. According to Boulder City Police, after the baby’s autopsy report revealed that the child died from fentanyl poisoning, detectives conducted interviews with the parents. The parents admitted that the child had been exposed to a mixture of fentanyl and methamphetamine after the dad spilled a bag of the drug mixture on a bed and later allowed the child to crawl onto that bed.

As previously reported by Emily’s Hope,  there has been a startling increase in fentanyl-related child deaths. According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, fentanyl was involved in 94% of the deadly pediatric opioid poisonings recorded in 2021, compared to 5% in 1999. Forty infants and 93 children ages 1 to 4 died from fentanyl in 2021 alone. More than 5,000 kids have died from the drug over the past two decades, with a substantial increase starting in 2013.

Regrettably, it seems that almost every week we hear of new cases of fentanyl poisoning affecting children. For instance, NBC Washington recently reported the hospitalization of a 2-year-old girl in Prince William County, in serious condition after exposure to cocaine and fentanyl. Additionally, KSTP shared the news that a mother from St. Paul, Minnesota, is now facing two counts of second-degree manslaughter after her 7-year-old daughter lost her life due to fentanyl.

These heart-wrenching incidents serve as urgent reminders of the need to address the fentanyl crisis, particularly concerning its impact on vulnerable children.