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Months after toddler's overdose death, mother charged with murder in case that exposed DCFS failures

1 year 2 months 1 day ago Thursday, September 29 2022 Sep 29, 2022 September 29, 2022 12:49 PM September 29, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Months after her 2-year-old son died from a fentanyl overdose, a grand jury formally charged Whitney Ard with murder in a case that has since kicked off a wave of scrutiny directed at the Department of Children and Family Services. 

Court records show a grand jury handed down an indictment for second-degree murder on Thursday. It comes about three months after Ard's son, Mitchell Robinson III, swallowed the drug which Ard had allegedly stashed under her bed.

Ard had been arrested in a huge fentanyl bust a little more than a month before the toddler's death and apparently stored narcotics inside her home.  Despite that and the fact that paramedics had to save the child from two prior overdoses in the months before his death, the boy was not removed from his mother's home.

Arrest documents and parish officials said three separate reports were sent to DCFS about the child's near-death experiences prior to the deadly overdose in June. 

Ard was booked into jail roughly a month later, and her arrest prompted a flood of questions asking why something wasn't done sooner at DCFS. 

In the months since, the supervisor who oversaw the child's case has resigned from DCFS amid an ongoing investigation into the failure and other missteps at the agency. 

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