Toxic breast milk is being blamed for the death of an 8-month old baby whose mom was charged with his murder.


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Sarah Stevens was taking a cocktail of prescription drugs, including methadone and Xanax, while breastfeeding her young son. While it's unclear as to whether or not Stevens was prescribed the medications by a physician, one thing is certain: her son's short life was riddled with incidences plagued by his mother's apparent vices.

Police say that young Ryder Salmen drank enough of Stevens' breast milk to make an adult addict high on the night he died. But that wasn't the first instance. When Ryder was a mere four months old, he also overdosed on the toxic milk. After a hospital visit for that overdose, Child Protective Services determined he was at risk while in his mother's care, but still he stayed with her. The reason? A manager at CPS didn't sign off on the assessment for three whole months.


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In between the first overdose and the one that resulted in his death, Stevens once drove off the road with Ryder in the back seat while she was under the influence. 

Police filed another report after the driving incident, but the case still saw no action from CPS. The CPS deputy director said in a statement that although all cases should responded to quickly, "there are occasions when a time lapse occurs between review of safety assessment and the approval." 


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One of Ryder's extended family members said that they had reached out to Sarah to try to take Ryder under their supervision, but were denied. "We reached out, 'hey, you don't need to do that, please ... give him to us, if you don't have the time or don't want to do it, give him to us. We're here,'" one family member said of his plea.

Stevens is now charged with second degree murder and child felony abuse. 


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