More than a year after their infant son died, a Mount Airy man and woman have been charged with involuntary manslaughter following the results of an autopsy and investigation, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
Jeremy Whitney Frazier, 34, and Heather Marie Frazier, 34, were arrested Friday, according to the FCSO. Their charges also include misdemeanor neglect of a minor.
FCSO responded to the area of Walden Way in Mount Airy on July 3, 2020, for a CPR case involving 2-month-old infant Grayson Frazier, according to a news release. Emergency medical services personnel took the child to Frederick Health Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to authorities.
The Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and determined the cause of death to be narcotic (fentanyl) intoxication, police said, and ruled the death as a homicide. According to a Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheet, fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl overdoses may result in respiratory failure.
Though the sheriff’s office received a copy of the autopsy report Sept. 10, 2020, spokesman Todd Wivell said, the investigation took some time before the Fraziers could be charged.
“Cases like this take time and the FCSO had to wait for the full autopsy, lab results of the infant’s blood and urine, conduct numerous interviews, and [receive] assistance from other law enforcement agencies, all in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wivell wrote in an email.
The Fraziers were identified as suspects after “months of investigation, interviews with family members, and decisive detective work,” the sheriff’s office said in its release. FCSO detectives detained Heather Frazier and took her to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. Jeremy Frazier was found in Pennsylvania, leading FCSO to coordinate with Pennsylvania State Police. Jeremy Frazier was detained and is waiting for extradition back to Frederick County, the sheriff’s office said.
As police are awaiting for Jeremy Frazier to be extradited, and considering the case is ongoing, Wivell said police at this time could not release information about how Grayson Frazier got fentanyl in his system.
Online Pennsylvania court records show Jeremy Frazier is being held in Adams County, Pennsylvania. Bail was set at $1 million. There was no defense attorney listed Tuesday afternoon.
“This case is a great example of how our detectives worked together with multiple agencies to solve this terrible crime,” Lt. Andy Crone, FCSO Criminal Investigations Section commander, said in the release. “No stone was left unturned and every avenue was pursued. I am extremely proud of our detectives for successfully solving this case.”
A bail review was held for Heather Frazier in Frederick County Circuit Court Monday afternoon, according to the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Leatherman argued Frazier should continue to be held without bail, but Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. ordered her to be released on a $20,000 secured bail. Online court records show she was released Monday.
Heather Frazier is to be represented by the public defender’s office, but no specific attorney was listed in court records early Tuesday afternoon. She has a pre-trial conference set for Oct. 25.
To report additional information about this case, contact the FCSO at 301-600-1046 and reference case No. 20-060792.