Mother charged after toddler dies of apparent fentanyl overdose
Results from toxicology report confirmed child died from fatal level of fentanyl in his system
– Jennifer Mae Niemann was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment this week after the San Luis Obispo Police Department says her three-year-old son died of a fentanyl overdose in May of this year.
On Wednesday, May 4, at 10:15 p.m., the San Luis Obispo police received a call regarding a 3-year-old male that was unresponsive, turning blue, and not breathing at a home on the 1600 block of Mill. Members of the San Luis Obispo Fire Department arrived on the scene first and immediately started life-saving efforts for the child. The child was transported to Sierra Vista Hospital for additional life-saving care but never regained consciousness and was pronounced deceased that same evening.
Based on the circumstances surrounding his death, an investigation was initiated by the San Luis Obispo Police Investigations Bureau. In cooperation with this investigation, the San Luis Obispo County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on the child, which included a toxicology screening. In mid-June, the results from the toxicology report confirmed the child died from a fatal level of fentanyl in his system.
During this investigation, it was determined that the child’s mother, Niemann, was the primary caregiver and was present when her child died. Over the following months, the investigators gathered additional information that Niemann’s actions allowed access to fentanyl which directly led to the child’s death.
On Monday, San Luis Obispo police detectives went to San Diego to attempt to locate Niemann regarding this investigation. On Tuesday, Niemann was located and taken into custody without incident. Niemann was transported back to San Luis Obispo where she was booked into SLO County Jail on the following charges:
- Child Endangerment with Great Bodily Injury – Felony
- Enhancement for Causing Great Bodily Injury During the Commission of a Felony – Felony
- Possession of a controlled substance (Methamphetamine) – Misdemeanor
- Possession of a controlled substance (Fentanyl) – Misdemeanor