Sequim baby dies after breathing smoke suspected to be fentanyl

Mother arrested, then released while investigation continues

SEQUIM — A 1-year-old baby died Monday afternoon in the Sequim area from suspected second-hand fentanyl smoke.

The baby’s mother was arrested for investigation of first-degree manslaughter — domestic violence but was later released because no referral was presented to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

“We’ll revisit this matter when we receive a referral from law enforcement,” said Mark Nichols, prosecuting attorney. “My sense is that it may take some time for law enforcement to complete its investigation.”

Clallam County sheriff’s deputies and Clallam County Fire District 3 medics investigated at 12:50 p.m. Monday a report of a baby boy not breathing at a residence in the 700 block of Fireweed Road, Brian King, Clallam County chief criminal deputy, wrote in an email.

The person who called for help said fentanyl was being smoked around the baby and that people at the house had administered Narcan, King said.

The baby was found to be dead.

Crystal Kathleen Coffman, 36, of Port Angeles was arrested and booked Monday evening but was released at her first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

“The investigation is ongoing and we continue to process the scene,” King said.

“Several others were present at the scene,” he added.

“We anticipate this will be a lengthy investigation as we have a lot of unanswered questions and we will be relying on the autopsy and forensic testing to get many of those answers,” King said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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