TW: mentions of child abuse and drug use. It has been almost a year since Kimberly Nelligan's one-year-old daughter was found dead in her home. On October 18, 2018, Nelligan called 911 after she discovered her infant not breathing and Bangor police and fire officials determined that the baby had died. Now, Nelligan is facing charges in her daughter's death after she allegedly rubbed heroin on the baby's gums.
The Maine Medical Examiner’s Office noted last December that Nelligan's daughter Jordynn's cause of death was acute fentanyl intoxication, the Press Herald reports. She has pleaded not guilty to a Class D charge of child endangerment and a Class E charge of possession of a Schedule Z drug, NBC News Center Maine reported. Jordynn's father, Shane Smith, allegedly told police that Nelligan would rub heroin on the infant's gums to help her sleep, stating that she had troubles with her stomach and sleeping, according to an affidavit.
Year-old baby died after mother rubbed heroin on her gums, police say https://t.co/blTU7Uu5Du— Gillian Graham (@GrahamGillian) September 19, 2019
Smith maintained that he saw Nelligan rub heroin on Jordynn's gums at least 15 times in the two months leading up to her death. However, in an interview News Center Maine, Nelligan stated that it was Smith who exposed the baby to the drugs. “I did nothing to hurt this little girl. I’m at fault for allowing her dad around her and I know that” Nelligan stated.
Exclusive: Bangor mom charged in connection to toddler's death maintains her innocence https://t.co/ubogbPtAgg— NEWS CENTER Maine (@newscentermaine) September 20, 2019
The police affidavit also states that “Shane said Kimberly was taking leftover baggies from their ‘dope’ and using the residue to put on the inside of Jordynn’s gums to help her sleep. Shane said Kimberly told him she had done it with her other kids in the past.”
Nelligan says that never happened. “I never rubbed anything, any type of heroin, fentanyl, whatever, on my daughter’s gums,” she said.
District Attorney Marianne Lynch confirmed to the Bangor Daily News that there may be more charges coming in the future. “These are very serious, very difficult cases, and in some instances, the law isn’t really designed to address issues like this,” Lynch said. “If things change at some point, there is still a possibility for other charges to come forward, but at this point, these are the charges we are confident we can go forward with.”
Nelligan is currently out on bail under the condition she has no unsupervised contact with minors and no contact with Smith as well as to stay away from drugs with the exception of marijuana. She's pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and will make her next court appearance on November 12.