Alleged drug dealers charged with murder after San Jose toddler overdoses on fentanyl

Thursday, April 18, 2024
Alleged drug dealers charged in fentanyl death of SJ toddler
Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have charged two people with murder for allegedly providing fentanyl that killed a toddler last year in San Jose.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have charged two people with murder for allegedly providing the fentanyl that killed a toddler last August in San Jose.

Phillip Ortega, 31, of Gilroy, and Paige Vitale, 32, of San Jose allegedly provided the parents of an 18-month-old known as Winter Doe with "a steady supply of opioids and shared the drugs, while the baby girl wandered inside the drug-littered San Jose residence," prosecutors said.

Evidence will allegedly show that "babysitting" drug dealers Ortega and Vitale left opioids and drug paraphernalia out in the open around the house where the baby could find them.

MORE: How overdose death of 3-month-old is prompting child welfare reform in Santa Clara County

Parents Darek Rayo and Kelly Richardson were charged five months ago with the overdose homicide death of their child, which District Attorney Jeff Rosen said was the first time in Santa Clara history for such charges to be filed.

Prosecutors allege Rayo and Richardson waited more than 12 hours before calling 911 to report that their daughter was dead. The baby had 15 times the lethal limit of fentanyl in her system when she died.

In addition to allegedly supplying Rayo and Richardson with fentanyl and methamphetamine, prosecutors said they have photographic and video evidence of Ortega and Vitale using drugs in the same room as the child.

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