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Alleged drug dealers charged with murder in fentanyl death of San Jose toddler that also led to charges against parents

2 alleged drug dealers charged with murder in San Jose toddler's fentanyl overdose death
2 alleged drug dealers charged with murder in San Jose toddler's fentanyl overdose death 02:36

Two alleged drug dealers have been charged with murder months after a toddler's fentanyl overdose death in San Jose also led to murder charges against her parents.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said in a press statement Wednesday that 31-year-old Phillip Ortega of Gilroy and 32-year-old Paige Vitale babysat for 18-month-old Winter Doe while also providing her parents with a steady supply of opioids.  

San Jose toddler fentanyl death suspects
San Jose toddler fentanyl death suspects Paige Vitale (left) and Phillip Ortega. CBS SF

On August 12, 2023, San Jose police said officers responded to the 1500 block of Huddersfield Court in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood for a report of a baby who was not conscious and not breathing. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

The District Attorney's Office said the baby had been dead for hours when medics arrived. A search of the home turned up fentanyl and drug residue in areas throughout the home, including on a rug underneath the baby's body. The child's parents, 27-year-old Derek Vaughn Rayo and 28-year-old Kelly Jean Richardson, waited more than 12 hours before calling 911, the DA's Office said.

Evidence shows Ortega and Vitale consistently supplied Rayo and Richardson with fentanyl and methamphetamine, and investigators found photos and videos showing all four using drugs in the same room as the child, the office said. The child was able to wander throughout the home where the alleged dealers left drugs and dirty drug paraphernalia in the open where the toddler could find them.

"The fatal irresponsibility of the people around Baby Winter is shocking - and it is criminal," said District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a prepared statement. "We will hold accountable anyone whose recklessness ended the life of that poor little girl."  

After a November coroner's report that showed the child had 15 times the lethal amount of fentanyl in her blood, Rayo and Richardson became the first parents in the county to be charged with murdering their own child with drugs.

Ortega and Vitale were scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the San Jose Hall of Justice.

The DA's Office said under the law, people can be charged with murder if they commit a dangerous and deliberate act with conscious disregard for human life.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact Investigator Sheena Woodland at (408) 792-2334 or

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