Mom overdosed infant on methadone ‘because she was fussy,' police say

Jennifer Lynn Pickerd

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan woman has been charged and is facing loss of parental rights after she overdosed her 6-week-old daughter on methadone “because she was fussy,” police officials said.

Jennifer Lynn Pickerd, 37, of Grand Rapids, is charged with second-degree child abuse in the Sept. 30 incident at her apartment, ABC13 in Grand Rapids reported. Court records show that the case against Pickerd was filed Nov. 2.

She was booked into the Kent County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond, but she has since been released, according to jail records.

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ABC13 reported that Grand Rapids police officers responded to a 911 call Sept. 30 about an infant having trouble breathing. Pickerd reportedly admitted giving the baby 20 mg of methadone, which she obtained from a clinic at which she was a patient, because the baby was crying and would not go to sleep.

Court documents obtained by ABC13 showed that Pickerd told investigators she believed the baby was going through withdrawal after Pickerd stopped breastfeeding the girl.

"She denied calling (the child's) doctor before deciding to give the baby the controlled substance," the documents said.

Pickerd told investigators she gave the baby Narcan when she found her unresponsive and realized she was overdosing on the drug.

Methadone is an opiate typically used to wean addicts off narcotic pain medication. Narcan is a drug that is administered to people overdosing on opiates.

The infant girl was hospitalized for several days, ABC13 reported.

“The baby was released from the hospital on Oct. 5 after going through detox for methadone,” Sgt. Catherine Williams with the Grand Rapids Police Department said.

The girl has been placed in the custody of Kent County Children’s Protective Services, ABC13 said. A hearing has been set for later this month to terminate Pickerd’s parental rights.