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Santa Rosa parents charged in toddler's suspected fentanyl death out of jail

SANTA ROSA – A young Santa Rosa couple arrested on Monday on suspicion of causing the death of their 15-month-old toddler by exposing her to fentanyl have been released from jail and are scheduled to be arraigned on June 24, a Sonoma County District Attorney's Office spokesperson said. 

Evan Frostick, 26, and Madison Bernard, 23, appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges of cruelty to a child likely to cause great bodily injury or death. The District Attorney's Office said it will wait until the infant's toxicology report is complete before making a formal arraignment. 

Officers and first responders arrived at the home of the couple on Monday after the infant's mother called in to report that her baby was unresponsive. The 15-month-old girl was rushed to the hospital where she subsequently died, police said. 

Santa Rosa police allege that fentanyl was found throughout the house, including the couple's bed, which they shared with their daughter. 

If fentanyl is found to have played a role in the baby's death, prosecutors said they will determine if manslaughter, murder, or other charges should apply. 

"We will continue to evaluate the evidence as we receive it and when appropriate make a determination of what if any charges are appropriate," Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell said.

Fentanyl is a highly-potent opioid that can kill in even trace amounts, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. 

A criminal record search of Bernard on Sonoma County court records yields no history, but Frostick has a rap sheet going back to 2015, beginning with a vandalism conviction. 

At the time of his arrest on Monday, Frostick was on probation for a 2020 arrest for DUI involving a controlled substance. It was his second arrest for DUI in two years, the first one occurring in 2018 for driving with a blood alcohol level of .18, according to court records.

Both arrests were charged as misdemeanors and he was given 10 days in jail for the first one and 60 days for the second; in both cases he was given three years' probation. Frostick was also arrested twice in 2018 for driving on a suspended license after his first DUI.  

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