A Louisana woman killed her daughter by breastfeeding her while under the influence of methamphetamine. Kenner Police Department charged Brandie Froeba with second-degree murder for the death of 6-week old daughter Daisy Froeba in August 2018.
According to a press release by Kenner Police Department, Brandie Froeba, 35, was arrested on March 8th in connection to her infant daughter’s death. The arrest occurred after a months-long investigation that determined the baby died from methamphetamine toxicity.
The case began on August 16, 2018. Kenner Police responded to a call of an unresponsive infant at the home of Brandie Froeba. When first responders arrived, they found six-week-old Daisy not breathing. Paramedics attempted CPR, but their efforts failed. Authorities transported her to the hospital and doctors pronounced her dead.
When officers arrived at the scene, they didn’t notice anything abnormal about Daisy. However, Brandie appeared lethargic and slurred her words. Officers noted that she seemed far too subdued given the gravity of the circumstances.
Suspecting that Brandie may be under the influence, police asked if she would be willing to submit to a drug test. Brandie complied with the request and admitted to using marijuana the previous day.
While on the scene, officers asked Brandie about the events that lead up to the death of Daisy. She told officers that she breastfed Daisy and they both fell asleep. When she woke up later that day, she noticed the baby wasn’t breathing. She called 911 as soon as she found her daughter unresponsive.
The next day a preliminary autopsy result of Daisy indicated she had methamphetamine in her blood. Following the initial finding, the medical examiner sent the baby’s blood for further testing.
In October, the lab results for Brandie’s bloodwork were returned to police and indicated a positive test result for meth.
Police continued to investigate and waited for the final autopsy results for the baby. Then in November, the medical examiner released the findings from the autopsy. According to the report, Daisy died from methamphetamine toxicity. Her manner of death was listed as homicide.
Upon receiving the results, police executed search warrants on Brandie’s medical records and interviewed witnesses. They also gained access to her text messages.
Through the investigation, police learned she tested positive in 2016 for marijuana and opiates following the birth of her third child. Doctors counseled Brandie on the dangers of using drugs while pregnant. Additionally, they told her not breastfeed while under the influence of narcotics.
Detective Peter Foltz found texts messages written by Brandie that referenced her use of “crystal meth.” The Detective also learned she had previous drug arrests.
If convicted on all charges, Brandie faces life in prison for the death of her daughter.
There are so many aspects of this story that make little sense. In 2016, Brandie tested positive for opiates and marijuana after she gave birth to her third child. Police reference that she received counseling, but there is no indication if child protective services got involved in the case.
Brandie had a history of drug abuse and arrests, but she managed to have custody of her newborn daughter. Why didn’t the county step in and remove the child following her birth?
She knew the dangers of breastfeeding and using drugs, but she opted to breastfeed. Why wouldn’t she formula feed her daughter? Also, where the heck is the father of Daisy? The father’s name, Ashley Berthelot, is referenced in her obituary. However, police did provide insight about his whereabouts at the time of death.
Brandie has three other children. The police provided no details about the custody status of the children.
Daisy’s death feels entirely unjust and preventable had someone taken steps to protect the children. Hopefully, her siblings are someplace safe and with responsible adults.
Thank goodness that the police who investigated noticed Brandie’s altered state the day of Daisy’s death. Without their quick thinking, they may have never connected her death to Brandie’s breastmilk.
If you are breastfeeding, please do not use narcotics. Your baby’s life and development depend on your sobriety.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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