Northern California baby dies of drug overdose from breast milk

SACRAMENTO — A child advocacy worker is criticizing Sacramento County's response in the case of an 8-month-old boy who died after ingesting his mother's drug-laced milk.

A report by the Sacramento Bee says Child Protective Services took three months to fully respond to the case of a child considered at risk after tests found he was exposed to the drugs.

Ryder Salmen died September 2012 after overdosing on a fatal mix of Xanax, methadone and the painkiller Opana. Court documents said the infant's mother had been warned five months earlier to stop breastfeeding because of high levels of methadone found in her baby's bloodstream. The test came after Ryder, then 4 months old, was brought to a hospital because he was lethargic.

Documents obtained under the California Public Records Act by the Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/18uq73d ) show that after the hospital visit, social workers determined Ryder was at risk. A safety plan was required for him to remain in his mother's custody.

However, records show a CPS manager did not approve the safety assessment in Ryder's case until three months after a social worker created it.

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