Father of toddler who died of fentanyl intoxication indicted

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The father of a toddler who died in November of 2023 due to acute fentanyl intoxication has been indicted on one count of second-degree manslaughter, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Joseph A. Smith, 34, of Sloan, was arraigned Friday morning in connection with the 2023 death in Cheektowaga.

Police responded to a residence on Nov. 19 and allegedly found a 15-month-old child who was not breathing. Officials say the child, Theodore Alicea-Smith, was taken to Sisters Hospital and died later that same day.

The Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the cause of death was acute fentanyl intoxication.

The toddler’s mother, Rachel Alicea, 32, of Sloan, was also charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday for her alleged involvement.

Alicea was released on a $100,000 bond while Smith was held on a $200,000 cash or bond bail. If convicted, they face a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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Kayleigh Hunter-Gasperini joined the News 4 team in 2024 as a Digital Video Producer. She is a graduate of Chatham University.

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