Man arrested on warrant after fentanyl overdose death of 20-month-old, Jacksonville police say

JSO previously announced a woman was also arrested in the case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man wanted on a warrant after a 20-month-old girl died in December was arrested over the weekend, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

On Dec. 20, JSO said, police responded to an area hospital, where the toddler died hours after being transported there from East 14th Street.

According to JSO, the medical examiner’s office determined the manner of death was accidental due to acute fentanyl intoxication.

Homicide detectives said one of the suspects was identified as Carlida Miller. The Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that Miller, 32, was arrested Feb. 27 on charges of manslaughter and tampering with evidence. As of Monday, she remained in the Duval County jail on $800,000 bond, according to online jail records.

When police announced Miller’s arrest last week, they also said Tyeon Ford had an active warrant for his arrest on charges of manslaughter and tampering with evidence and was being sought.

Police said Monday that officers made a traffic stop Saturday on Old Middleburg Road North and that Ford was a passenger in the vehicle that was stopped. Police said he was taken into custody without incident. As of Monday, Ford, 23, was being held on $900,000 bond in the Duval County jail, jail records show.

According to the arrest report for Miller, on the day the girl died, JSO brought Miller and Ford in for questioning. They both told detectives that the girl had no known health issues, and Ford said more to police, but that was redacted, the report shows. When police searched the home where the child lived, JSO said, it appeared the kitchen area was cleaned up and the shower appeared to have been recently used.

While it is unclear if the child who died belonged to Miller, court records show that in 2018 and 2020, she had been involved in a custody battle and child support case involving two men. It is also unclear if the child belonged to Ford.

New4JAX combed through Duval County court records that revealed that in 2021, Ford pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, and adjudication was withheld.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, children under the age of 14 are dying from fentanyl poisoning at a much higher rate than any other age group.

From 2019 to 2021, fentanyl deaths tripled for children ages 1 to 4. And deaths involving children ages 5 to 14 quadrupled.

“Drug poisoning today poses a clear and present threat to our public safety,” said Mike Dubet, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA Jacksonville office.

Dubet says illegally possessing fentanyl purchased on the streets is bad enough, but leaving it within reach of a small child is a recipe for disaster.

“I would consider it similar to having a handgun around children,” Dubet said. “If you’re leaving drugs around your children, specifically, drugs that may contain fentanyl, it could end deadly.”

According to the DEA, it only takes 2 milligrams of ingested fentanyl to potentially cause a fatal overdose. That amount of fentanyl is small enough to place on the tip of a pencil, yet still potentially deadly if ingested.