Father Charged in Fentanyl Tragedy

In a heart-wrenching incident, a 24-year-old father from Bakersfield, Raul Rivera, has been charged with first-degree murder in the tragic death of his 2-year-old son, Ezekiel Rivera. The toddler succumbed to a fentanyl overdose in June, leading to the father’s arrest on January 24, 2024.

Ezekiel was discovered lifeless in his father’s room almost 22 hours after being last seen alive on surveillance cameras. Raul Rivera, who is also facing charges of willful cruelty to a child in relation to his then 3-year-old son, is being held in jail with a $1 million bail.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Kern County Superior Court, autopsy results confirmed Ezekiel’s fentanyl overdose. The statement alleges that Rivera was aware of the dangers of fentanyl, failed to protect his children, and obstructed Ezekiel from receiving timely medical attention.

Surveillance footage revealed Ezekiel entering his father’s room at 1:40 a.m. on June 5, where Raul Rivera admitted to using fentanyl. Later that day, Ezekiel was seen being carried out of the room in a seemingly lifeless state. Rivera had fled the home before law enforcement arrived, expressing doubt that medical aid would benefit his son.

Investigations uncovered drug paraphernalia in Rivera’s home, including residue on furniture where fentanyl was allegedly consumed, two narcotics smoking pipes, and evidence of past drug use. Additionally, Soluna Lora, Ezekiel’s mother, filed a claim against the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, asserting that deputies failed to remove her children from Rivera’s home despite her warnings about his drug-related activities.

Lora’s attorney, Humberto Guizar, emphasized the need for accountability and better training for law enforcement in handling such cases. The tragic incident underscores the importance of addressing civil rights issues and ensuring the safety of children in vulnerable situations. As legal proceedings unfold, the community awaits justice for Ezekiel Rivera.

As we grapple with the heartbreaking case of Raul Rivera and the tragic loss of young Ezekiel, it is essential to recognize the urgent need for awareness and preventive measures in the face of the fentanyl epidemic. At FentanylSolution.org, our mission revolves around educating communities about the dangers of fentanyl and advocating for solutions to combat its devastating impact. Through our programming, we strive to empower individuals with information, support, and resources to prevent such heartbreaking incidents. Join us in our commitment to creating a safer environment for families by exploring our initiatives at FentanylSolution.org, as we work towards a future where no family has to endure the pain caused by this dangerous substance. Together, we can make a difference and protect our loved ones from the pervasive threat of fentanyl.

Source: Bakersfield News

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