Orchard Beach mother, grandmother arrested for deadly infant opioid overdose

A mother and grandmother were arrested Thursday morning by Anne Arundel County police for their complicity in the deadly opioid overdose of an infant.

Laurie Ann Taylor, 43, and Alexus Lorraine Taylor, 17, both of Orchard Beach, Maryland, have been charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death, second-degree child abuse and manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the death of 9-month-old Niyear Taylor.

Laurie Ann faces two additional counts of reckless endangerment in regards to her daughter Alexus.

The charges come after a monthslong investigation into the July overdose of Niyear Taylor.

Police say on July 26, Laurie Taylor drove her two daughters and the infant Niyear to Baltimore City to purchase heroin. Taylor purchased four heroin capsules to share with her daughters, but upon returning home, found one gel cap was missing. Taylor and her daughters searched extensively for the missing capsule, but never located it.

Laurie Taylor then drove her 17-year-old daughter Alexus back to Baltimore City to purchase additional heroin. After returning home around 1 a.m. on the morning of July 27, they noticed that Niyear’s breathing was odd. Laurie Taylor said she questioned if the infant had ingested the missing capsule, but decided to take a “wait and see” approach after a discussion with Alexus, the infant’s mother.

Within hours, the Taylors found baby Niyear unresponsive and called emergency medical services. Niyear was transferred to Baltimore Washington Medical Center for life saving treatment, but was ultimately pronounced deceased at the hospital.

An autopsy and toxicology report confirmed that fentanyl and morphine were present in the infant’s blood, liver, and stomach, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

A search warrant was executed on Aug. 14 at the Taylor residence, finding empty capsules with traces of powder in every room of the house.

Over 100 gel caps were recovered from the floor, the infant’s diaper bag, and other parts of the residence. Analysis of the capsules by the Anne Arundel County police Controlled Dangerous Substance Lab tested positive for both heroin and fentanyl.

After a series of investigative interviews, Laurie Ann and Alexus Lorraine Taylor were taken into custody without incident on Dec. 5.

Even though arrests have been made, this is still an active investigation.

Anne Arundel County police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling their Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. If tipsters would like to remain anonymous, they can alternately contact the Anne Arundel County police Tip Line at 410-222-4700, Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP or submit by web at www.metrocrimestoppers.org.

Vivian Medithi

Vivian Medithi is digital writer/editor. Vivian has been with WTOP since 2019.

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