New Jersey Mother Who Overdosed on Opioids Suffocated Her Baby Son After Passing Out on Top of Him, Police Say

Prosecutors in New Jersey have charged a mother over the death of her infant son after she allegedly overdosed and passed out on top of him. Lumberton Township Police Department said in a news release that Antoinette King, 33, is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree.

Police said they were called to the property at around 8.30 p.m. by a relative who found both King and her 13-month-old son Jerimiah to be unconscious. King was on top of the toddler. Officers administered Narcan, a life-saving drug that fights off the effects of an opioid overdose, to King, which revived the mother. But the young boy could not be revived by police.

Read more: The shocking rise in opioid use by pregnant women in America

"Both subjects were transported to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, where Jerimiah was pronounced dead," police said. Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood will perform an autopsy on the boy. The investigation is led by Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Lumberton Township Police Department.

The boy's babysitter, Chandra Williams, told CBS Philadelphia he was a lovable child and had recently learned to walk. "I just actually babysat him on Friday for about an hour or so forth, and the next day he's gone," she told the station.

Neighbor Lynn Ingram added: "He was a premature baby. So he went through all the prematurity and now he's not here anymore."

Burlington County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

America is in the grip of an opioids crisis. The National Safety Council (NSC) said in a new report that, based on data collected in 2017, more Americans are dying of opioid overdoses than in car crashes. The probability of an American dying of an opioid overdose was one in 96 compared to one in 103 for a fatal car crash.

"The nation's opioid crisis is fueling the Council's grim probabilities, and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl," the NSC said in a statement referring to the deadly opioid growing in popularity that can be 50 times more potent than heroin.

Opioid-related deaths in New Jersey are higher than for the U.S. as a whole. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 1,409 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state in 2016, a rate of 16 deaths per 100,000 people. That compares to a national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

The situation is worsening in the state. In 2008 there were just 3.8 such deaths for every 100,000 people, a figure that has risen sharply over the past decade.

This article was updated to correcting a typo.