Grandmother arrested after 5-month-old exposed to narcotics in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A woman was arrested after police said her 5-month-old grandchild was exposed to narcotics, and emergency personnel had to use Narcan on the child in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood.

The child’s grandmother, Elizabeth Rexrode, 41, of Pittsburgh, was charged with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia after the incident on Tuesday.

Police responded to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Engine 26 fire house in the 600 block of Brookline Boulevard after an unresponsive 5-month-old girl was brought to the location for emergency assistance.

When officers arrived, firefighters and paramedics were rendering aid to the child, who was then transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital in stable condition after first responders had administered Narcan.

“I saw one of the firefighters holding a baby in his hand, then another firefighter put something on the baby’s nose, maybe to help them to breathe. Then three ambulances show up, and the police was here. Fire trucks, and they start working on the baby,” Joe Chahine, owner of Pitaland across the street, said.

According to the criminal complaint, officials at the hospital said the child presented with symptoms of opioid overdose.

Special Victims Unit detectives interviewed Rexrode, who is the infant’s guardian. She told police her and her boyfriend went to a local park on Bausman Street where she noticed the child being very lethargic and her lips turning blue. They took her home where the child’s skin started to turn blue and she wasn’t waking up, so they went to the fire station.

During the interview, Rexrode admitted to using heroin and cocaine recently. A search of her home turned up empty stamp bags, as well as suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia in the living room where she had been sleeping on the couch.