The grandmother and aunt of a 9-month-old baby who died in their care earlier this month have been charged with murder after the baby tested positive for fentanyl.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Maj. Troy Skebo told the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star that they received a 911 call about a baby girl not breathing. Emergency personnel arrived and began life-saving measures before taking the child to a local hospital in critical condition. From there, the child was flown to Virginia Commonwealth University Children’s Hospital in Richman, where she died on Sundqy.
The medical examiner has not completed an autopsy to determine cause of death, but doctors in Richmond found fentanyl in her system, Skebo said.
When detectives executed search warrants at the home, they seized multiple suspected narcotics. They learned from the baby’s mother that she had dropped three of her children off at the grandmother’s home on December 1. A 2-year-old, a close relative, was also at the home. The remaining three children were tested, and the 2 year old came back positive for cocaine.
Ilona C. Foster, the 49-year-old grandmother, and 35-year-old Stephanie S. Diomande, the baby’s aunt, face multiple charges, including felony murder, which carries a prison sentence of up to 40 years if convicted.
Other charges include four counts of child abuse, four counts of child endangerment, possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. They are being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail with a preliminary hearing scheduled for February 29.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Stephanie Diomande and Ilona Foster/Rappahannock Regional Jail]