North Dakota mom charged after 8-month-old baby overdoses on heroin, fentanyl, officials say

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Mother charged after 8-month-old baby overdosed on heroin, fentanyl, officials say

A North Dakota mother of three is behind bars after authorities said her 8-month-old baby overdosed on opioids.

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According to Stark County District Court records, Sierra Rose Toroitich, 25, of Bismarck, was arrested Monday on charges of child endangerment, as well as possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, after 911 dispatchers received a call about an unresponsive infant in a Dickinson hotel room.

Officials said Toroitich, who had been staying at the hotel with her children and brother, Lawrence J. Bearking, smoked marijuana and was napping with her baby when the infant "got into" a heroin-fentanyl mixture on the bed, the Dickinson Press reported. Bearking is the suspected source of the drugs, authorities said.

After the child overdosed, the mother failed to call 911 and Bearking fled, said Stark County Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Engelstad. The baby's father, who was not staying at the hotel, happened to visit the room and called authorities when he discovered the child wasn't breathing, the newspaper reported. Emergency responders arrived, gave the baby Narcan and rushed the child to a nearby hospital, Engelstad said.

In a court appearance Monday, Toroitich called herself a "great mom" and said she didn't call 911 because her "phone was charging," the Press reported.

"I had the baby in my hands," she said, according to the newspaper. "I was screaming. I didn't know what to do."

Toroitich is being held on $100,000 bond and has been barred from having contact with her kids, the Press reported. Her next court hearing is Dec. 2.

Authorities are still searching for Bearking, the newspaper reported.

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