Stanly Co. teen helps save 22-month-old brother who overdosed on fentanyl

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — A baby boy is in the hospital after almost dying from exposure to fentanyl Wednesday night, according to reports from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. The boy’s teenage sister is being called a hero.

Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis confirmed that the 22-month-old’s parents have been charged in connection with the incident.

“Unfortunately, that’s the reality of fentanyl -- just a small amount lead to the overdose of a 22-month-old,” said Det. Karcin Vick-Dunn.

Vick-Dunn responded to the apartment where it happened around 7 p.m. Wednesday. It’s on Highway 54 in Misenheimer. She said a young teenage girl noticed her baby brother was struggling to breathe.

“The juvenile sibling definitely saved that child’s life,” Vick-Dunn said.

First responders told Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis that they administered Narcan to the baby before taking him to the hospital.

Vick-Dunn arrested the child’s parents, Shiann Hartsell and Justin Hopkins. They have been charged with child abuse and possession of drugs. Both are being held at the Stanly County jail, according to deputies.

Vick-Dunn said they found powder fentanyl in the home along with other drug paraphernalia.

Gettting fentanyl out of the community and away from children has been of Stanly County Sheriff Jeff Crisco’s top priorities. So far this year, state data shows the county is seeing fewer overdose patients in the emergency room. The baby is the youngest victim they’ve seen. Crisco said it’s a reminder of what they’re up against.

“Frustrating to some degree because we missed that one,” he said.

Investigators told Curtis the 22-month-old baby is doing OK and is still in the hospital. He and and his siblings will be in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

The investigation into this incident is active and ongoing.

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