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Federal Way police investigate link between baby's death and prescription drugs

Federal Way police are investigating the suspicious death of an infant that may have been exposed to a lethal amount of prescription drugs.

At 6:57 a.m. Wednesday, fire, medics and police responded to a call of CPR in progress at 952 SW Campus Drive. A mother had phoned 911 and relayed that her eight-month-old female infant was not breathing and was cold to the touch. Medics were unable to revive the infant.

Information pertaining to the case calls for further investigation, police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said.

"This is a suspicious death," she said.

The child was allegedly submitted and released from Mary Bridge Children's Hospital earlier that same morning. At 2 a.m., a call was placed from the infant's household to emergency dispatchers. The caller indicated the infant was possibly exposed to prescription drugs and in need of medical attention, Schrock said. Medics responded and took the baby to Mary Bridge.

Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Mary Bridge was not able to confirm the infant's admittance to the hospital. If the baby girl had been admitted to Mary Bridge, it is possible a toxicology test was performed.

Mary Bridge is able to run a toxicology test specifically designed for infants and children, Mary Bridge spokeswoman Marce Edwards said. The test can detect a number of prescription medications, Edwards said. She was unable to provide a list of those medications. Depending on the amount of medication the child was exposed to, results of a toxicology test could be ready within 30 minutes, Edwards said. The infant was released from Mary Bridge at 4 a.m., according to Schrock.

The circumstances that took place between 4 and 7 a.m. are under investigation, Schrock said. It is uncertain whether the second call to dispatchers was related to the potential exposure to prescription drugs or if other circumstances prompted the call.

Police, at this time, are unsure whether a crime was committed, Schrock said.

"At this point, it is an infant death investigation," she said.

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