Fremont mom arrested for murder after 23-month-old son dies from fentanyl exposure, police say

Bay City News
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
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FREMONT, Calif. -- The Fremont mother of a toddler who allegedly died due to exposure to fentanyl has been arrested on suspicion of the child's death, police said Tuesday.

On Oct. 18, Fremont officers responded to the hospital on a report of an unresponsive 23-month-old boy who was not breathing. According to police, the child had been driven to the hospital by his mother, Sophia Gastelum-Vera, 26, and other family members. The toddler was later pronounced deceased.

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According to investigators, the baby was found unresponsive that morning inside a bedroom he shared with his mother in the 4300 block of Gina Street in Fremont.

Authorities got a search warrant for the residence and allegedly found items "associated with illicit drug use" that contained the presence of fentanyl. Police also allege they have messages found on devices owned by Gastelum-Vera regarding fentanyl use and possession. Police say a toxicology report shows that the child had a "high level of fentanyl in his system" at the time of death.

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Parents in San Jose, Livermore, Stockton and Santa Rosa have been arrested over the last two years on the same suspicion of the death of their child, with prosecutors alleging that the children ingested the substance.

On Tuesday, Gastelum-Vera was interviewed and arrested on suspicion of homicide and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Fremont P.D. says detectives are still actively investigating this death. If you have information, please contact Detective Ryan Blanchet at 510-790-6900, or at