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Baby tests positive for fentanyl after mom's overdose at El Cajon motel

Relax Inn & Suites in El Cajon
Posted at 6:01 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 21:01:36-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — The El Cajon Police Department says a 7-week-old baby tested positive for fentanyl after their mother overdosed at a motel Friday morning.

A San Diego County spokesperson confirmed to ABC 10News that the woman and her child had been staying at the motel under the county's hotel voucher program, which provides emergency housing to people experiencing homelessness.

According to the press release, ECPD officers were called to the Relax Inn & Suites, located at 1220 W. Main St., to help the Heartland Fire Department respond to a drug overdose.

First responders learned about the overdose when the 34-year-old woman's father came to check on her and the baby. He found his daughter passed out on the floor while the baby was on the bed next to her, according to ECPD.

RELATED: The County and City of El Cajon can't agree on the hotel voucher program

A motel employee had Narcan on them, and the man used the medication on his daughter.

"When police and fire personnel arrived, the suspect was conscious and declined any additional medical treatment," ECPD's release says. "The child was taken into protective custody, and transported to Rady's Children's Hospital where a drug screen tested positive for fentanyl."

The mother was arrested for child endangerment, police say.

ECPD's press release also says motel staff confirmed to its officers the room was paid for via the county's emergency housing program.

In a statement sent to 10News, the spokesperson for San Diego County pointed out the situation would've been more dire if the woman was still out on the street.

“We know that people who are unhoused are much more likely to die of an overdose. Because her father was able to locate his daughter quickly in her living space, he was able to save her life," the statement from the county says. "This is exactly why housing for those with behavioral health conditions is so important."

The hotel voucher program was a point of contention throughout a series of town hallsthe El Cajon community recently held regarding the homelessness crisis.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has frequently voiced his displeasure with the program, especially after two convicted sex offenders allegedly had sex with a minor in a taxpayer-funded motel room in March.

RELATED: El Cajon Police make multiple drug arrests allegedly in connection to County homeless voucher program