A couple died from an accidental overdose in a motel in Michigan while their 6-month-old daughter remained unattended and dehydrated beside them for three days before authorities found them last month.
A recently released post mortem showed that 26-year-old Jessica Bramer of Grand Rapids and 28-year-old Christian Reed of Marne had used fentanyl, other opioids, marijuana, and alcohol, according to The Associated Press.
The child, Skylah, was in critical condition when found and later recovered in the hospital, according to the Chicago Tribune. She’s currently being cared for by the family.
A trooper responding to a well-being check found their bodies on May 24 at the Rodeway Inn near Whitehall, said an earlier AP report. They were staying in the motel for about a week before they died and an obituary for Reed mentions that he died on May 22.
Wood TV reports that no foul play was suspected. The bodies were sent for an autopsy a day after they were found but toxicology results have yet to be released.
The couple had been in and out of jail but media reports do not give any further details. The obituary stated that Reed graduated from Rockford High School in 2009 and “enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hiking, music, and loved to draw.”
A post on his Facebook page said that he was waiting for a laptop and was looking forward to making ads. “Getting a laptop tomorrow. Finally been stuck in limbo for a while now.. I can go to school again and finally work on making ads.. yaaaass,” Reed wrote.
Reed’s Facebook page has many pictures of baby Skylah, including a CT scan image of the unborn baby that he had used as his profile image last year.
Reed’s obituary asked for donations for the baby’s education fund. “Those who wish to make a donation, please consider contributions to Skylah Rae Reed’s education fund,” it said.
Americans More Likely to Die From Opioid Overdose Than a Car Crash, Says Report
For the first time in history, accidental opioid overdose has surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional deaths, according to a new report by the National Safety Council (NSC).
Americans have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, while the probability of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 103. The council’s analysis is based on 2017 mortality data by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The nation’s opioid crisis is fueling the Council’s grim probabilities, and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl,” the NSC said in a statement on Jan. 14.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 130 people in the United States die of an opioid overdose each day, while the cost of prescription opioid misuse in the country is $78.5 billion a year. This includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
The recent report comes at a time where public health officials and law enforcement are highlighting the risks of the opioid epidemic that is plaguing Americans. In the most recent example, a mass drug overdose at a home in California killed one and hospitalized a dozen more. Authorities said the overdoses were likely to have been caused by fentanyl. Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien added that they had been waiting for such an event to happen amid reports that the dangerous narcotic was heading west.
Back in October 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. The Senate subsequently passed a bill that received bipartisan support to combat the crisis.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.