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Oakland Park grandmother arrested, accused of giving 11-month-old grandson lethal dose of antihistamine

Oakland Park grandmother charged in grandson's death
Oakland Park grandmother charged in grandson's death 00:42

FORT LAUDERDALE -- An Oakland Park woman was arrested and is facing charges in connection with the death last year of her young toddler grandson who ingested a powerful antihistamine that turned out to be lethal, according to a police report.

Tibina Louissant
Tibina Louissant Broward County Sheriff's Office

Tibina Louissant was taken into custody by homicide detectives from the Broward County Sheriff's Office and taken to the Broward County Jail, where she was booked on suspicion of aggravated manslaughter of a child, the report said. 

She was released after posting bond that was set during a Saturday court appearance, documents show.

The arrest occurred just over a year after the woman's 11-month-old grandson, identified as Josiah Fenelus, was found unresponsive at her Oakland Park home.

Deputies were called on Aug. 21, 2022 to a home in the 100 block of NW 40th Court around 9:30 a.m.

The boy was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to investigators.

Deputies said the boy's parents left him in the care of his paternal grandmother before he was later found unconscious at the residence.

Investigators said Josiah had no known medical problems before the incident occurred.

Autopsy results showed that the boy had a toxic concentration of cyproheptadine in his system. The powerful antihistamine is not approved for use by children younger than 2 years old and can only be obtained through a doctor's prescription. 

Investigators said toxicology tests concluded recently that the contents of two baby bottles and found in the woman's home had tested positive for cyproheptadine.

Investigators said they were told that Louissant was the only person who used the boy's bottles while she was taking care of him.

The medical examiner ruled that the boy died from cyproheptadine toxicity, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Officials have not said what the woman was using the drug for or if she was deliberately giving it to the child.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, cyproheptadine is a prescription antihistamine that also acts as an appetite stimulant and is frequently used in attempts to gain weight or enhance one's physical appearance. 

Antihistamine overdose can cause disorientation, hallucinations, coma and, in some cases, death. Earlier this year, the sheriff's office issued a public warning about the dangers of taking cyproheptadine without a prescription.

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