Mother Held After Daughter Dies of Painkiller Overdose

A 40-year-old Lancaster woman who allegedly gave her 7-year-old daughter a fatal dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever has been arrested in Florida on suspicion of murder and child abuse, authorities said Friday.

Cynthia Lafata was taken into custody Wednesday by Palm Beach officers on a warrant issued in Los Angeles County, said Sgt. Richard Dinsmoor, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Lafata will have to go through the extradition process before being returned to Los Angeles for arraignment on one count of murder and child abuse, Dinsmoor said.

On Aug. 15, Lafata took her daughter to Lancaster Community Hospital and told the hospital staff that the girl had the flu, according to authorities.


But doctors told investigators that the girl had ingested excessive amounts of Tylenol, which were causing kidney failure, Dinsmoor said.

Doctors rushed the girl to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she died a short time later of kidney failure, according to a sheriff’s report.

By the time the district attorney obtained an arrest warrant, Lafata had fled.