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Police say child died in The Orleans hotel room after ingesting fentanyl; mother arrested

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 20:43:42-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A 34-year-old woman was arrested after police say her child died from ingesting fentanyl.

According to a Las Vegas Police arrest report, the child was left alone in a hotel room at The Orleans Hotel & Casino while 34-year-old Amber Mitchell played poker.

In an interview with detectives, Mitchell said she's been a professional poker player for 10 years. She told police she was struggling financially and played poker to make money.

On July 11, Mitchell said she met a friend at another casino, and they went back to her room at The Orleans. The friend had a large bag of pills which he laid out on the sink counter to take a photo because he wanted to sell them, the report states. Mitchell told police she texted photos of the pills to people she knew who might want to buy some.

Police described the pills as round and blue, with the letter "M" on one side and the number 30 on the other.

When her friend left, Mitchell said she stayed in the room with her two boys. She said at some point both of her boys went into the bathroom to use the toilet and then came back out.

After this happened, Mitchell told police she left the room to play poker and did not come back until 1 a.m.

When she came back to the room, she noticed her child's eyes were constricted and feared that her child took some of the pills that her friend left. She told investigators she didn't seek medical help for the child because she looked online and read that children can take oxycodone and be OK.

Mitchell said she put her child back to bed and left to continue to play poker because she "left chips on the table."

When she came back up to the room later that night one of her children had blood coming out of his mouth. Police said Mitchell tried to render aid, but then later took the child down to get help from security.

Police were called to the hotel at approximately 3:30 a.m. First responders with the Clark County Fire Department were already on scene and performed CPR. Despite life-saving efforts, the child was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Officers searched Mitchell's room and found nine oxycodone pills wrapped in a thin bag on a shelf in the bathroom. Detectives said their narcotics team did a preliminary test on the pills and found that they contained fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"I may as well have given them the pill, because I wasn't watching them," Mitchell said in her interview with police.

After police asked why she didn't seek medical attention, she said that she is, "just a mother, not a doctor. I didn't know 'oxy' could kill him. I don't know about fentanyl."

Police said 15 pills in total were in the photos taken when the pills were laid out on the sink.