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Parents arrested after 7-month-old baby overdoses on opioids in Fla. hotel room

The mother handed the child to Boca Raton Fire Rescue paramedics, who helped him regain a faint pulse before transporting him

powdered drugs in plastic bag in hand close-up


By Shira Moolten
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The baby had no pulse.

“Please, he’s gasping for air, please!” his mother had cried to the 911 operator seconds earlier. “I don’t want nothing to happen to my son.”

“I’m going to stay on the phone with you until we get there, okay?” the operator replied. “Someone else is dispatching the paramedics.”

“Right now,” his mother said. “Right now, right now, right now.”

By the time paramedics arrived at their Boca Inn hotel room, her 7-month-old boy was in cardiac arrest.

He had overdosed on opioids that Monday night, according to a probable cause affidavit. Police later found fentanyl in the baby’s diaper bag and a fentanyl analog in the same dresser drawer as his clothes.

The baby survived.

His mother and father were arrested on charges of possession of fentanyl, child neglect causing great bodily harm, and culpable negligence.

Gekia Hunter, 26, the baby’s mother, called 911 a little before 8 p.m. Monday, the affidavit states. She and the baby’s father, Bianley Jolicoeur, 27, told officers who first responded that the baby had a cold recently and had been wheezing occasionally.

Hunter said she had put the baby to bed for a nap, when she noticed him making gargling noises. She tried to wake him, but he remained unconscious.

When Boca Raton Fire Rescue paramedics entered the hotel room, Hunter handed the baby to them. He had stopped breathing and entered full cardiac arrest, according to the affidavit. After paramedics treated him, he regained a faint pulse, and they transported him to Boca Raton Regional hospital, where Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, immediately revived him.

While the parents were at the hospital, detectives searched the hotel room. They found a “white rock like” substance, less than a gram, in the same dresser drawer as the baby’s clothes, the affidavit states. It tested positive for Butyryl fentanyl, an analog of fentanyl that has about a quarter of its potency.

Detectives also found white residue on top of the dresser and in two straws, which are often used to snort drugs. Another straw lay on the floor, next to children’s toys.

Jolicoeur denied using drugs that night, according to the affidavit. He said he had used the straws to snort drugs a long time ago.

At first, Hunter also denied using any drugs in the hotel room. When detectives told her that her baby needed Narcan, she began to cry. She told them that Jolicoeur had lied to her, and had been selling heroin. When she got off the phone with the 911 operator, she said she had asked him if their son “got into his stuff,” and he responded that he had no idea how he could have, the affidavit states.

Police arrested Hunter and Jolicoeur at the hospital early Tuesday morning. In an interview at the police department, Hunter told detectives that she had snorted what she described as heroin earlier that night, just before calling 911.

Later, in the diaper bag the two parents had brought to the hospital, detectives found a plastic zipped bag containing 5.2 grams of fentanyl.

The baby’s condition later stabilized, according to the affidavit, and he was transported to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Hunter and Jolicoeur had their first court appearances on Wednesday. Both are being held on $19,000 bond.

They will have no contact with the baby, per a court order.

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