Multiple guardians arrested after minor’s brush with death


BUCKHANNON — On Friday, February 4, Helene Wodzinski, Brittany Wodzinski and D. Emery Cutlip were given an official charge for their individual involvement in a January 1 incident. 

According to court documentation, Upshur County Comm Center received a call regarding an unconscious/unresponsive person on Saturday, January 1. The caller, later identified as Helene Wodzinski, told Comm Center the patient, a 2-year-old female, was “barely breathing and burning up.”

During the duration of the call, Helene Wodzinski requested to cancel EMS after making the decision to self-transport the minor to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

According to court records, the registered nurse performed the child’s initial examination and determined the child was in severe destress. The criminal complaint stated the juvenile required intubation to increase her dangerously low oxygen level. Upon further testing, the child showed a positive test for fentanyl.

After this discovery, the child was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. After arriving at the hospital, further testing determined the child was positive for other substances consistent with a toxic mixture illegally sold as heroin.

Child Protective Services stated in the criminal complaint that the guardians, Brittany Wodzinski and Cutlip, did not know how the child came in contact with the fentanyl. Declarations in court documents stated that, due to the failure of parents and/or guardian, the minor suffered possibly fatal fentanyl poisoning. Helen Wodzinksi, Brittany Wodzinski and D. Emery Cutlip were all charged with gross child neglect. All the defendants are currently held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail without bail.

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