Mom Accused of Causing 1-Year-Old's Death by Rubbing Heroin on Daughter's Gums as Sleep Aid

Chris Harris

Nearly a year after her 1-year-old daughter died from acute fentanyl poisoning, a 33-year-old Maine woman faces charges.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Kimberly Nelligan was arrested on Wednesday, and has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and drug possession charges.

PEOPLE could not reach Nelligan, who is out on bail, for comment, and it was unclear Thursday if she was represented by a lawyer who could address the allegations.

WCSH reports that investigators allege Nelligan rubbed small amounts of heroin on the little girl’s gums about 15 times over the course of two months before the child’s Oct. 10, 2018, death.

Coroners determined the girl died from acute fentanyl intoxication, meaning the heroin was likely laced with the potent opioid.

According to WMTW, police allege Nelligan denied ever using heroin when first approached by police last year, but then allegedly admitted to snorting the drug weekly.

She allegedly admitted using the drug on her other children as a sleep aid in the past, police allege.

Nelligan’s husband helped police make the case against her.

The Bangor Daily News reports he told them he allegedly witnessed Nelligan rubbing the heroin on their daughter’s gums about 15 times.

He also allegedly told police she told him she didn’t mean to hurt their daughter on purpose.

During her court appearance Wednesday, Nelligan made several rude gestures to the cameras recording the proceedings.

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If convicted, Nelligan could be sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison

A judge has barred her from having any contact with the child’s father and any child under the age of 18.