Toddler Was Overdosing On Fentanyl But VA Parents Said He Was Choking On Hash Brown: Police

Virginia parents are facing charges after their 2-year-old was found with fentanyl in his system, authorities announced.

Mark Cole and Tabitha Williams.

Mark Cole and Tabitha Williams.

Photo Credit: Stafford County Sheriff's Office

Responding deputies were told that the toddler was choking on a hash brown when they were called to a home on Thomas Jefferson Place just before 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, Stafford County Sheriff David Decatur said.

But Deputy Waheed identified signs consistent with someone who would be overdosing, and had the toddler taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, Decatur said.

Waheed later got a call from Child Protective Services saying hospital staff found the child did not in fact choke, but that he had overdosed, according to the sheriff. 

Fentanyl, THC, and cannabinoids were detected in the child’s system, Decatur said. Due to the updated information, the Criminal Investigations Division was promptly notified.

Authorities searched the home of Mark Cole, 27, and Tabitha Williams, 25, on Monday, Nov. 20. They found fentanyl, other drugs, and two firearms — one in the child's bedroom, police said.

Cole, the boy's dad, was charged with felony child abuse, possession of controlled substances, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. 

Williams, the boy's mom, was charged with felony child abuse, possession of controlled substances, possession of a firearm while in possession of controlled substances, and obstruction of justice. 

Both were being held at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond. The two-year-old child is still being treated at the hospital, and is expected to make a recovery. Once released, he will be turned over to Child Protective Services.

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