Parents arrested after 2-year-old ingests ‘rainbow fentanyl’ in Northern California, authorities say

A small amount of a pink and blue substance in a plastic bag next to a silicone skull
Authorities found brightly colored fentanyl inside a silicone container made to look like a toy skull after a 2-year-old child allegedly ingested narcotics, resulting in potential opioid poisoning.
(Butte County Sheriff’s Office)

The parents of a 2-year-old in Northern California were arrested this week after the child allegedly ingested fentanyl while in their care, authorities in Butte County said.

The parents, both in their early 20s, had taken their child to a location on Concow Road to be treated by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel Monday after reporting that the child had ingested “an unknown substance while in the care of someone else,” according to the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force.

Cal Fire personnel requested that Butte County sheriff’s deputies respond to the scene.

“The child was lethargic and displaying symptoms of possible opioid poisoning,” the task force said in a release, adding that authorities determined the child had probably ingested fentanyl while at home with the parents.


The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. at the high school, authorities said. Two students were taken to a hospital, and a person of interest was detained and released.

Oct. 20, 2022

The child was given naloxone, an overdose-reversing medication, and flown by helicopter to Enloe Medical Center, then released into the custody of the Butte County Children’s Services Division.

Agents later searched the family’s home, where investigators found methamphetamine and a “small amount of rainbow colored fentanyl in a silicone container” in a vehicle, the task force said.

The container was made to appear as a toy skull, according to a photo provided by the task force.

The parents were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and possession of controlled substances and booked into Butte County jail.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued warnings about brightly colored “rainbow fentanyl” pills.


Late last month, the Pasadena Police Department said it had seized 300,000 fentanyl pills, including several packages of “candy-colored” pills.

On Wednesday, 12,000 pills believed to contain fentanyl were seized at Los Angeles International Airport, reportedly concealed in candy boxes, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.

Additionally, at least nine teenagers in Los Angeles overdosed last month from pills possibly containing fentanyl.