Broward County

Mom Charged in Alleged Fentanyl Death of 2-Year-Old in Fort Lauderdale

Gertrude Desir, 27, is charged in the alleged drug overdose death of her two-year-old child

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A two-year-old child is dead from an alleged fentanyl overdose, and the child’s mother is facing charges that include aggravated manslaughter and several drug counts as a result.

Gertrude Desir, 27, was arrested Thursday in Fort Lauderdale. Police were responding to a burglary call and she was found in an abandoned house in the 400 block of Northwest 15 Terrace, records showed.

Gertrude Desir
Broward Sheriff's Office
Gertrude Desir

At her first court appearance Friday morning, Broward assistant state attorney Eric Linder told the judge it appeared the child died of a drug overdose.

"The amount of fentanyl in the deceased’s system, in the two-year-old, it was seven times higher than what’s considered a high lethal amount for an adult,” he said. “There was a prior child neglect investigation involving Ms. Desir where she was advised that she cannot use drugs if she wants to keep custody of her children.”

Records show she was arrested in 2016 for interfering with an investigation of drug activity in her Pompano Beach neighborhood.

Desir came out of an apartment carrying a one-year-old child on her hip and told Broward Sheriff’s deputies to leave.

A mother was arrested after her child died from a suspect fentanyl overdose. NBC 6's Julie Leonardi reports

“You’re always harassing us,” she said. “You need to take your [expletive] back to where you came from.”

When deputies told her to step away or her child could go to a Child Protection Agency, the arrest report stated she became enraged and said, “I will put you under if you touch my baby or me.”

Desir was arrested on the spot for threatening to kill a law enforcement officer.

That charge was dropped and she pled no contest to a misdemeanor, resisting an officer without violence. Adjudication of guilt was withheld.

This latest case involves a different child.

Desir remained in the Broward County Jail on bonds totaling $80,000 for charges that also include possession of fentanyl, cocaine and drug paraphernalia, records showed.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with drug addiction and would like to receive private, confidential help from trusted professionals call the National Drug Helpline by calling 844-289-0879 or click here.

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