Warrant issued for Albuquerque mother after toddler overdoses on fentanyl

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — First responders were called a La Quinta Inn in northwest Albuquerque in March. A two-year-old child was purple and not breathing.

Medical crews said the boy overdosed on fentanyl. His mom, Jessica Garcia, is now wanted for child abuse.

Police said they discovered drugs inside the hotel room where the toddler, his adult sister, and Garcia were staying.

In a message thread about the overdose, the daughter tells her mom the overdose was her fault – blaming her for nodding off with pills on the bed near the baby.

Hospital workers said the child responded to Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, but also had to be resuscitated.

The toddler showed signs of brain damage. Doctors told police he’s now at risk for chronic impairment.

When the child was born, he was already exposed to numerous substances.

“Every time you open a newspaper or hear of another situation where a child has not been sent home safely, or is not in a safe situation – it’s extremely frustrating and very, very sad,” said Republican state Sen. Gay Kernan.

Kernan tried to address this problem during the last legislative session.

In 2019, the state create a New Mexico version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

The goal is to get mothers and substance-exposed babies the help they need before they leave the hospital by creating what’s called a plan of care. However, with so many different agencies involved, Kernan said these babies are falling through the cracks.

“We want parents to get the help they need, I am not opposed to that,” Kernan said. “But I’ll tell you, we have got to do something to make sure those babies are safe.”

Kernan’s legislation for more oversight did not make it to the governor’s desk.