Pennsylvania baby’s heroin death declared a homicide

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Collingdale, PA, United States (4E) – The death of an 11-month-old boy from Delaware County, Pennsylvania last July was caused by acute heroin intoxication and has been ruled a homicide Wednesday.

According to reports from the Medical Examiner’s office, Niccolo Varner ingested drugs that resulted in his death.

Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said Wednesday he was officially notified that the boy’s death was a homicide.

Varner was transported by medicals workers to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital on July 15 after police responded to a call around 8:24 a.m. of a baby in respiratory distress.

The infant was pronounced dead at the hospital, 16 minutes after the call.

Christine Rivero, the baby’s mother, was taken into custody for possession of drug paraphernalia and questioned about the circumstances surrounding the child’s death but no charges were filed.

It was reported that investigators have initially described the boy’s death as suspicious.

On July 17, a full autopsy to determine cause and manner of death administered by Delaware County Medical Examiner Dr. Fredric N. Hellman suggested “pending further studies.”

No charges have been filed in connection with the homicide and an investigation is ongoing.

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