LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A child has died and his brother nearly died after both children ingested fentanyl pills while left alone in a hotel room, according to the Clark County District Attorney’s office.
Their mother, Amber Mitchell, 34, is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center.
She faces felony charges, including three counts of child abuse with substantial bodily harm and one count of drug possession with intent to sell.
Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Elana Graham set bail for Mitchell at $200,000 Wednesday morning. Mitchell refused to appear in the courtroom.
The Clark County Coroner’s office has identified the deceased child as Sequori Cayetano. He was four years old, and his brother who was hospitalized is six years old, according to Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tim Fattig.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, it is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
Cayetano was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning at The Orleans Hotel and Casino, according to the coroner’s office. The Orleans is located about two miles off the Las Vegas Strip.
Fattig said in court that Mitchell left her children alone in the hotel room while she went to gamble.
“She was in possession of fentanyl pills because she was attempted to sell them,” Fattig said. “She failed to secure them in her hotel room leaving them out in the bathroom counter.”
Detectives said Mitchell did not seek medical attention immediately after she realized her child may have ingested the fentanyl pill.
Mitchell told detectives that she became concerned that he had taken a pill around 1 a.m. after he appeared to act drunk.
She said she put him back to bed and went back downstairs to play poker, according to an arrest report.
Detectives also said that Mitchell said that she felt guilty and doesn’t deserve children.
They said she told them that she’s “just a mother, not a doctor,” and “I didn’t know oxy could kill him, I didn’t know about fentanyl.”
Mitchell claimed that her friend told her that the pills were, “Oxys,” according to detectives.
The arrest report states that this is a common street term used for pills that are sold as prescription oxycodone.
Detectives described the pills as blue in color with the letter M on one side and the number 30 on the other.
The arrest report also makes note of a recent trend among street drugs for fake pills to be laced with fentanyl, the national campaign to bring awareness to it, and that the pills are “absolutely deadly.”
“It is likely that Mitchell would have been aware of this as it was obvious the pills she was selling were not from a pharmacy,” the arrest report states.
Fattig said in court that Mitchell has more ties to California than Nevada and appears to be transient.
Clark County Public Defender Josie Bayudan said that Mitchell has a Las Vegas address and cell phone. Bayudan requested high-level electronic monitoring for Mitchell with no monetary condition.
She said that she received public assistance, specifically $700 for food, and claimed that Mitchell could not afford bail.
Judge Graham pointed out that Mitchell was staying in a hotel and gambling.
She also said that if Mitchell posts bond, she is to have no contact with her children.
The I-Team has also learned that back in September of 2021, Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services stated that there was a report received alleging neglect.
However, the agency found the allegations to be unsubstantiated and ultimately determined that the family did not need services and that the family members were safe.
Bayudan said Mitchell’s surviving child is in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Her next court date is scheduled for July 18.
The I-Team reached out to Boyd Gaming which owns The Orleans Hotel & Casino.
A spokesman sent the following statement:
We are shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy, and we are cooperating fully with Metro in this investigation.
Boyd Gaming statement