Sep 03, 2013 08:54 AM EDT By Vishakha Sonawane
Breast-milk, considered a boon for babies, became the cause of death for an infant.
Eight-month old Ryder Salmen died after drinking his mother's breast-milk that contained Xanax, methadone and the opiate painkiller Opana.
The 32-year-old mother Sarah Anne Stephens was warned when the baby was five months old to either stop breastfeeding or to stop abusing drugs, reported Sacramento Bee. Initially, the police were clueless about the reason for the death of the baby. But toxicology reports revealed that a fatal mixture of drugs led to Ryder's death. The baby died 10 months ago and his mother has been charged with his death after th final toxicology report came out.
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The Sacramento County District Attorney charged Sarah with second-degree murder and felony child endangerment, the police said.
Alan Salmen, the baby's grandfather, said that their family knew Ryder was in danger and sought custody. "We reached out," Salmen told Sacramento's Fox 40. "We knew what was going on, 'please give him to us. If you don't have the time or don't want to do it, please, we're here.'" He said that Sarah was given parental custody of the baby even after he was hospitalized at two months due to an accidental overdose.
"Whatever Ryder was, we loved him," Salmen said. "He could cry in our arms 24 hours."
The pathologist told a police detective that "the drugs were at a level that would have caused an adult addict to be high." Results indicated that "Ryder had a tolerance to the drugs," the warrant affidavit states, according to Sacramento Bee. But, Sarah said that "if there were drugs found in Ryder's system she believed they possibly came from the father."