A 32-year-old Philadelphia woman has been charged with causing the death of her 10-month-old son through exposure to an illicit drug.

Vanessa Hampton of Philadelphia Charged

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw says Vanessa Hampton is facing second-degree manslaughter and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

She was taken into custody last week in Philadelphia and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.

Authorities say an investigation began in November 2022 after officers with the Medford Township Police Department were called to a home for a report of an unresponsive infant.

That infant was taken to Virtua Hospital in Voorhees and then transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He failed to regain consciousness and was declared dead about a week later.

An autopsy ruled the death a homicide, concluding that the infant died from drug intoxication after being exposed to Xylazine, which is used in veterinary medicine as a sedative, muscle relaxant, and analgesic.

In the United States, it is not approved for human consumption or medical treatment.

Prosecutors say based on the investigation, it is alleged that Hampton was responsible for exposing her child to the drug, which resulted in his death after being ingested.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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