Sarah Stephens Ordered to Stop Breastfeeding on Drugs, Refuses, Gets Arrested After Baby Dies

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Sarah Stevens has been arrested after she refused to stop breastfeeding her eight-month-old baby boy, who died after she was ordered to do so.

Ryder Salmen died of a overdose months after Stevens was found to have high levels of methodone in her system. She has been charged with murder.

Methodone is often used by addicts to wean off of heroin. Officials say that Salmen died due to ingesting Xanax, methadone and the painkiller Opana.

The strange case began when Ryder, then four months old, was brought to a hospital because he was lethargic. Social workers found he was at risk.

Stephens was warned that in order to keep custody, she'd have to stop nursing. She did not do so, reports indicate, and her child paid with his life.

A safety plan was required for him to remain in his mother's custody, however, a CPS manager did not approve the safety assessment for three months.

That gap has experts questioning the charges against Stephens.

Ed Howard, senior counsel for the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, said it "undermines the confidence" in CPS.

"Is it their policy to wait three months to approve safety assessments for the children of drug-addicted mothers?" Howard said, according to The Sacramento Bee.

In a written response, the deputy director of CPS said the safety assessment should be approved by a supervisor upon completion by a social worker.

"However, there are occasions when a time lapse occurs between the review of the safety assessment and the (approval)," Michelle Callejas said.

Sarah Stevens Mug Shot

On the same day the first safety assessment was approved, the agency created a second assessment which said Ryder faced a low risk of future mistreatment.

But, then there's this: Shortly after completing its second assessment, CPS officials say they received a report from police questioning Ryder's safety.

A Citrus Heights police officer cited his mother for child endangerment when the car she was driving, with Ryder in the back seat, went off the road.

Based on the records, CPS apparently did not complete another risk assessment after the car accident. Ryder died less than a month after the report.

It appears as if something, or several things, fell through cracks with this plan and it was never agreed upon by managers - all while Stephens cared for the child.

Clearly, prosecutors feel that Stevens, regardless of her condition, was still able to make parental decisions or they would not have charged with murder.

The warnings, they say, should have been heeded, regardless of the bureaucratic issues that may have kept the case from being closely monitored.

Do you agree? Or should she face lesser charges or none at all, given her addiction struggles and the lack of intervention when it was most needed?


Im willing to bet that she kept breastfeeding was because she didnt want to cough up the $$$ for formula, leaving her with less money for her drugs! So sad


plai an simple self absorbed druggie She should get death penalty was ordered to not breast feed knowing she was endangering her child May that little man R I P Sad but he is in better hands Gods little Angel


She SHOULD be charged with murder! She is a selfish, low life that has put her baby in danger one too many times with the end result being death! If she could not kick her habit, then she should have given the baby up or to a family member that offered to keep him. I also think that Child Services shoudl be held accountable as well. There are WAY too many occasions they do not do their job and the same thing happens. If you do not care about your job and what you are supposed to stand for, don't do that job. It is disgusting and disturbing that this agency is supposed to be there for the good of the children, yet time and time again, they do nothing and the child suffers.


She should face murder charges. Regardless of her problems with addiction she could have chosen to formula feed this poor baby and he might have been fine.


He should face murder charges. Absolutely. She knowingly risked that baby's life. Disgusting. If your a drug addict you should not get away with something like this just because you struggle with addiction. No poor worthless druggie. Poor BABY! I feel that if your a hardcore druggie you dont deserve your children period. Hang the stupid bitch.


She alone murdered her child. She alone is to blame for her actions. She has no excuse for her actions because she knowingly and willfully harmed her child. After being informed and directed not to do so.


Mothers that are under the influence cannot make correct decisions when it comes to their little ones,they should have taken the baby under custody and probably would have saved his life.Very sad to know their are mothers out there doing this to their little angels she should have the maximum penalty .


Breast feeding is very delicate you should not breast feed if your under antibiotics imagine something like methadone,Xanax, and pain killers. Of course it will kill the baby. Scary to think you could getaway with it


She deserves the charge. End of story. She killed the baby.


I wonder, how she coped with her addiction thru out her pregnancy, if she was on methodone after giving birth? It is sad. She should of known better to wean her own flesh and blood off, if it was a danger to the the baby, if she really loved and cared for her own baby, she would of made the right choice.

Tags: , ,