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1-year-old child dies from apparent heroin overdose

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Penny Cormani (Credit: Wing Mortuary)

PROVO, Utah — Police are investigating after a 1-year-old Utah girl died from an apparent heroin overdose, according to KSTU.

On Dec. 2, 2015, paramedics responded to a 911 call where the child, Penny Cormani, was found with discolored lips and unresponsive.

The child’s mother, Cassandra Leydsman Richards, reported feeding Penny and doing laundry as her daughter played in the front room, according to an unsealed warrant from the Utah Fourth District Court obtained by KSTU.

Richards put Penny down for a nap at about 11 a.m. with a bottle of about 3 oz. of vitamin D milk.

According to the warrant, when Richards went to check on Penny at noon the child was purple or blue in the lips and not responding.

“Cassandra took Penny downstairs and attempted CPR,” the warrant said. “Casasandra called 911. Provo paramedics responded and transported Penny to the UVRMC where Penny was later declared deceased.”

An autopsy revealed that Penny had a lethal amount of heroin in her system and that codeine was also present.

The day before Penny’s death, David and Sina Belgard allowed Richards and Penny’s father, Casey Cormani, to stay in their Provo home.

After Penny’s death, the Belagards consented to a search of their home.

According to the warrant, authorities found numerous items of drug paraphernalia including burnt foil with residue and straws with burnt ends and residue.

David Belgard told authorities he had seen Richards and Cormani using the straws to inhale their prescriptions, the warrant said.

“Cassandra and Casey both deny any illicit drug use and state that they consume their medications orally as prescribed,” the warrant said. “Both Casey and Cassandra reported that the paraphernalia belonged to either David or Sina.”

A criminal history check showed David Belgard has been arrested and/or convicted on charges including driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of heroin, amphetamine and marijuana, false information to police and resisting arrest.

No one has been arrested in connection with Penny’s death at this time.