Police this week filed felony child neglect charges against the mother of Allie Giana Gaines, the nine-month-old girl who died late last year after swallowing a folded piece of paper that contained a mix of heroin and fentanyl.
Investigators also charged Lacrystal Renee McClain, 30, of Garner, with a felony weapons violation after finding a stolen handgun in the apartment where her daughter was found unconscious.
Crystal has been charged with negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to an arrest warrant filed Tuesday at the Wake County Magistrate’s Office.
Police say McClain showed “a reckless disregard for human life” and was “grossly negligent” by having heroin and fentanyl within access of her child.
Investigators found a stolen .380 Baretta in McClain’s second-floor apartment at 207 Westcroft Drive. The officers filed charges because McClain was not supposed to have a firearm after she was convicted in Wake County for felony possession with intent to deliver heroin in 2014, according to the arrest warrant.
McClain has been in custody at the Wake County jail since last month, when she was charged with conspiring to traffic in heroin, with Allie’s father, Albert Gaines Jr., 33, and with maintaining a residence as a place to keep or sell drugs.
Gaines was already in the Wake County Detention Center when he was charged this week with felony child abuse. Garner police had arrested him in December at his home in Wilmington on charges of heroin possession with intent to sell, possession of cocaine and gun possession by a felon on the day Allie died. Police charged him in February with trafficking in heroin.
Allie Gaines died Nov. 15. Toxicologists found fentanyl, acetyl fntanyl and heroin in the toddler’s body, according to a toxicology report made public Monday by the N.C. State Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 more times more powerful than heroin, and 3 grams of the synthetic opioid is lethal enough to kill an adult, authorities reported.
Pathologists who performed the child’s autopsy recovered a folded piece of paper from her stomach. Toxicologists analyzed the paper and found evidence of the drugs that took her life.
McClain remained in custody Wednesday at the Wake County jail, where she is being held under a $750,000 bail, a jail spokesman reported Wednesday.
Gaines is being held in lieu of a $765,000 bail.
Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald