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Parents Arrested after Child Overdoses on Fentanyl

Columbia Police Department (CPD) investigators have charged a couple from Berkeley County, S.C. after their child ingested drugs while at a downtown Columbia hotel.

Police Chief W.H. ‘Skip’ Holbrook announces that 39-year-old Donald Ray Little, Junior and 27-year-old Mary Ashley Willis are charged with Unlawful Neglect of a Child. Little is also charged with Possession of a Scheduled I Controlled Substance and Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon.  The couple is accused of placing the child in unreasonable harm and affecting the child’s physical safety by leaving illegal controlled substances accessible to the minor who consumed an unknown amount while the parents were sleeping.

The incident occurred inside a hotel at the 900 block of Washington Street on March 17, 2021.   Shortly after 10:00 a.m. yesterday, Willis brought her unresponsive son to CPD Headquarters for help. Officers monitored and cared for the child until EMS arrived on scene to provide medical care.

While at a local hospital, it was determined that the child, who will turn a year-old tomorrow, tested positive for Fentanyl.  The child is in the emergency protective custody of the SC Department of Social Services (DSS).

All persons arrested/charged are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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