More than a year after the death of their 15-month-old child, a Jurupa Valley couple were arrested on Wednesday November 10 on suspicion of murder by authorities who say Sandy Alyssa Acuna and Adler Alan Metcalf poisoned their child with the powerful pain reliever fentanyl. .
Metcalf, 22, was being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. Acuna, 20, was being held in lieu of $ 1 million bail at the same prison.
Superior Court records show the two were charged with crimes; however, two online filings with the same case number indicate two different sets of charges. One has three counts of endangering children and the other shows one count of murder and two counts of endangering children for both parents. The gap could not be explained immediately Thursday.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said on September 1, 2020, MPs responded to a report that a child was not breathing in the 5400 block of 34th Street in the Rubidoux neighborhood of Jurupa Valley. There the child was pronounced dead.
“It has been determined that the (deceased), a 15-month-old minor, was the victim of homicide due to a fentanyl overdose,” said a press release from the Sheriff. “The investigation was carried out relentlessly over the following months and it was determined that the parents of the minorâ¦ were responsible for the possession of the fentanyl which killed their child.”
The parents were arrested Wednesday at an address on 34th Street.
Prior to Acuna’s arrest, an arrest warrant had been issued against her in a child endangerment case filed in November 2019. It was not clear on Thursday whether this case involved the 15-year-old. month.
The statement did not say how the child ingested the fentanyl or why the parents took the opioid. A message to the sheriff’s department went unanswered.
Fentanyl is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the Federal National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug dealers often mix fentanyl with other illegal drugs to increase its potency, but unsuspecting drug addicts take the pills and may succumb to fentanyl even in small doses.
Doctors can legally prescribe the highly addictive drug.
In Riverside County, District Attorney Mike Hestrin was prosecuting seven second degree murder cases against alleged pill sellers on the theory of implied malice prior to this latest case. He said the county was on track for at least 500 fentanyl-related deaths in 2021.