Father and aunt waited hours to call 911 for 2-year-old who ingested fentanyl, later died, warrant shows

The father and aunt of a 2-year-old girl from Mansfield, Texas are facing criminal charges for allegedly waiting two hours to call 911 after the toddler ingested fentanyl-laced pills, court records show.

Nevaeh Meshelle Reed's official cause of death is still pending, but her father, Michael Ray Reed, and aunt, Jamie Nicole Popovic, have been charged, according to an arrest warrant obtained by USA TODAY. Reed is charged with knowingly causing serious injury to a child, which is a first-degree felony, and Popovic was indicted on first-degree felony child endangerment and abandonment charges.

The warrant shows Reed delayed contacting authorities after learning of Nevaeh's condition and discouraged others in the apartment, including Popovic, from calling 911. Prosecutors allege Reed also tried to get Naloxone, a drug used to reverse an overdose, delivered by DoorDash.

USA TODAY could not reach Reed's or Popovic's attorneys Wednesday morning.

Nevaeh Meshelle Reed, who was described as a "vibrant soul" in an obituary posted on the website of the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, died on Feb. 28, 10 days after authorities were called to her father's apartment.

Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed.
Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed.

“She was a sweet, outgoing little girl," Stephanie Wallace told USA TODAY about her daughter, Nevaeh. "She loved to be the center of attention, and she loved to make others smile. There was never a dull moment with her. She was the goofiest baby I knew, she knew exactly how to make someone’s day."

Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed.
Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed.

Nevaeh was found lying on the ground, barely breathing, court doc says

Mansfield police and paramedics went to an apartment after receiving a call at 10:17 p.m. on Feb. 18 about an unresponsive 2-year-old, the arrest warrant said. Once in the apartment, paramedics began performing CPR on Nevaeh before taking her to a nearby hospital, according to the warrant.

While inside the apartment, police officers noticed the area was "dirty" and had a "strong odor of marijuana," the arrest warrant said. The officers also saw two pills on a desk with burnt marijuana cigarettes, and "a syringe for taking medicine on the coffee table," the warrant continued.

When an officer spoke to Michael Ray Reed, the 26-year-old said he came by the apartment to dog-sit and that he and his daughter fell asleep on the couch, the warrant said. Reed woke up to Popovic finding Nevaeh lying on the floor, he told the officer, according to the warrant.

Nevaeh was unconscious on the ground and exhibited "labored breathing," the warrant said.

Popovic, 30, told police she came back to the apartment around 8 or 9 p.m. after leaving Chili's, according to the arrest warrant. When Popovic entered the apartment, she found Nevaeh lying on the floor.

"Jamie states she found the injured child and picked her up and she knew something was wrong because she was limp and her breathing was labored," the warrant said.

Michael Reed waited to call 911, Googled 'how to make a child throw up,' court doc says

When a detective with Mansfield police interviewed Reed at the hospital, the father admitted to not calling 911 right away, instead Googling "how to make a child throw up," according to the warrant. Reed told the detective he tried to stick his finger down Nevaeh's throat to make her throw up, the warrant continued.

Popovic told officers she wanted to call the police earlier, but Reed stopped her because "he was scared he was going to lose his kids," the warrant said.

Another man living at the apartment told police that Nevaeh came into his room around 8 p.m. with "powder all over her," according to the arrest warrant. Reed also told him not to call the police, the warrant continued.

"(The man) observed the injured child and knew that she was not OK due to her head just being bent backwards and limp," the warrant said.

The group at one point even tried putting ice on Nevaeh's face to wake her up, but it did not work, the warrant shows.

Fentanyl-laced Oxycodone pill found feet away from where Nevaeh died, police say

While searching the apartment, police found a blue Oxycodone pill four to five feet away from where Popovic said she found Nevaeh, according to the warrant. The pill tested positive for fentanyl, the warrant continued.

In addition to the Oxycodone pill, police found cash, white pills, a scale used for marijuana, plastic baggies all over used to store marijuana and a loaded gun on a kitchen cabinet, the arrest warrant said.

Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed sitting on a park bench.
Pictured is 2-year-old Nevaeh Reed sitting on a park bench.

Wallace, the toddler's mother, said she knew Nevaeh was "put on this earth to do wonders and make a change," and regardless if she's physically here or not, "she is still going to do that."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas father called 911 hours after daughter, 2, ingested fentanyl