fentanyl.jpgA 54-year-old foster mother has been arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide after she gave her six-year-old charge a prescription pain killer that killed her.

Taylor Webster complained that her neck hurt, so foster mother Joanne Alvarez gave the girl a baby Motrin. When the pain didn't abate, Alvarez applied a topical pain-killing patch containing fentanyl, a drug not approved for use on people under 16 years old. Alvarez found her foster daughter unconscious yesterday afternoon and the girl was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she was declared dead.

Alvarez may have taken the fentanyl patch from her job as a health care attendant. The Daily News quotes several neighbors who said thought it was probably an accident and that Alvarez was a caring foster mother. The paper also notes, however, that some residents at the Taft Houses in Harlem thought Alvarez was "strange" and suspected she was drugging the children she cared for to keep them quiet. Interestingly, fentanyl was once packaged as a narcotic lollipop to deliver the painkiller to kids.