Woman pleads not guilty in child’s fentanyl exposure death

Derrick Young and Tyana Putzlocker
Derrick Young and Tyana Putzlocker(Brown County Jail)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:43 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Green Bay woman has entered not guilty pleas to charges in the death of her child from exposure to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Tyana Putzlocker, 22, is charged with Felony Neglecting a Child - Consequence is Death and Misdemeanor Bail Jumping.

On Aug. 1, Putzlocker entered not guilty pleas to all counts. The court did schedule a plea hearing for Oct. 14, which means there could be an agreement in the works.

A hearing on bond is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Putzlocker and the child’s father, Derrick L. Young, are both charged in the case.

On May 3, police were called to a residence on Taylor Street for a child who was unconscious and not breathing. They found Putzlocker attempting CPR on the one-year-old child. Officers and EMS took over. The child was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

A medical examiner didn’t find any signs of physical abuse and an autopsy was ordered.

Investigators learned that Brown County Child Protective Services had previously removed the victim and his two-year-old brother from Tyana’s custody due to concern about neglect and drug use in the home. The children were placed with their grandfather and only allowed to have supervised visits with their parents.

In November 2021, members of the Brown County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a home on Baird Street. They found Young and the two boys in a basement bedroom. DTF staff found guns on the floor and narcotics. Pills found in the room indicated the presence of fentanyl, according to the complaint. Young was taken to jail and later released on bond. That’s when the children were taken from the parents’ custody.

On May 6, investigators interviewed the boys’ grandmother. She said she had taken the boys to Tyana’s home the day of the victim’s death. She said they all decided to take a nap, and the grandmother stepped out of the home. She stated that she didn’t believe her son would do drugs around the children.

On June 3, the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office came back with findings from the autopsy that found the presence of fentanyl in the victim’s system. The ME ruled it to be a contributing factor in the cause of death.

Investigators learned that while the child was at the hospital, Young suggested the medical staff “try Narcan” on the child. Narcan is used to treat drug overdoses.

Officers reviewed social media accounts of the parents. They found a Facebook chat between them. The criminal complaint states it shows Young “being actively involved in the distribution of controlled substances.”

“Putzlocker was both fully aware and at times participated in that activity,” reads the complaint. There was even a discussion of pills on the date of the child’s death.

On July 6, Putzlocker and Young were taken into custody. Putzlocker denied that she or Young were using or selling drugs.

Young admitted to using and being addicted to fentanyl and also admitted to selling it, according to the complaint. Young said he and Tyana smoked it in the basement and sometimes in the bathroom. He said he kept fentanyl pills in a closet.

Young later told investigators that it was possible his son “might have gotten one of his fentanyl pills.” He also said Tyana was “careless” with her drug use.

Young, 23, is charged with Neglecting a Child - Consequence is Death (Party to a Crime) and Felony Bail Jumping. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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