ANDERSON, Ind. — An Anderson man was arrested on a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death after his 9-month-old son died from ingesting fentanyl, according to court documents.

Rodney Taylor II, age 29, turned himself in on Nov. 22.

His charge stems from an incident on Sept. 2. At about 6:30 p.m., officers with the Anderson Police Department were called to a home in the 2000 block of McKinley Street to assist with a 9-month-old who was in cardiac arrest.

The child was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Anderson and pronounced dead shortly before 7:30 p.m. His cause of death was later ruled to be fentanyl toxicity.

“You cannot expose children to these drugs and say ‘Oops, it’s an accident’,” said Rodney Cummings, Madison County Prosecutor. “No, you have a responsibility to protect these children and when you don’t, you’re going to get charged.”

Court documents state that when police arrived at the home, they could smell marijuana coming from the house, and Taylor II admitted to having marijuana. During a search, police said they found a spoon with white residue, marijuana and scales inside the home.

Taylor II told police that he had relapsed in the past couple of weeks after being clean for several years and graduating from “drug court,” documents say. He said he had been using opiate drugs such as fentanyl, but he and his girlfriend — who is also the mother of the child — had a plan to get him clean again. Taylor II told authorities that he used at about 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. that day, Sept. 2.

According to court records, Taylor II explained that he brought his son to his father’s house at about 10 a.m. while his girlfriend was at work. The mother stopped by to visit around noon and told the police that everything seemed fine while she was there.

Taylor II stated that later, he saw his son had gotten ahold of the foil that comes inside a pack of cigarettes, and when he took the foil away from the child, he noticed that it contained a “gray salt-like material,” records say. Taylor II said he then put his son down for a nap in his crib while he napped on the couch next to the crib.

A call from the mother awoke Taylor II. That’s when he checked on the child and noticed the 9-month-old was unresponsive and not breathing, per documents.

“How it got into the body, it doesn’t really matter,” Cummings said. “The parent is supposed to protect that child and what happened couldn’t have happened if the adults were doing his or her job.”

At this point, Taylor II said he began performing CPR. He said his phone was not working, so he ran outside and flagged someone down. A woman stopped to help him perform CPR, while a man with her called 911, Taylor II recalled.

Police said after the interview, Taylor II told them “on his own free will” that he had hidden some “Roxy pills” in the house but could not remember where he put them “because so much was going on when he ran back to hide them,” documents state. They returned to the house, where Taylor II found at least one pill and gave it to police.

“I don’t think our community really gets how deadly fentanyl really is,” Cummings said. “Drug traffickers and drug dealers lace a lot of their drugs with fentanyl because they make a greater profit. People are dying. It’s fatal.”

On Nov. 21, police said they arrived at the home take Taylor II into custody, but his father said Taylor II was staying with friends while receiving drug addiction treatment. Taylor II called police the next day and agreed to turn himself in. He was booked into the Madison County Jail.

“It’s just a sad story that continues to happen again in our community, it’s an epidemic,” Cummings said.