Leo Holz never experienced many milestones in his short life. He never came close to big ones like graduating from high school or falling in love. He never learned how to read, how to tie his shoes, how to cross the street safely, or the importance of sharing. Leo was only ten-months-old when he died on September 18, 2017 after innocently putting something he found on his parents’ bed into his mouth. That something was a fake pill made with fentanyl and it stole Leo’s life from him.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, that September morning started out like most for little Leo. His grandmother found the boy already awake when she got up. She took Leo into his parents’ bedroom. His mother, Chantil Kalagian, attempted to breastfeed him before she fell back asleep with Leo in her arms. Leo’s father, Colin Holz, was also asleep on the bed.
It was an accident. With his parents asleep, neither were in a position to stop the ten-month-old boy from putting the pretty colored pill he found on the bed into his mouth. The pill came out of Colin’s pocket. At around 8:25 AM, Chantil and Colin woke up to the horror of their baby boy blue and unresponsive.
9-1-1 was called, but they were unable to revive Leo. He was declared dead at Rady Children’s Hospital. Investigators believe Colin bought the pills from Melissa Scanlan, and she admitted to police that she sourced her counterfeit oxycodone pills from a drug cartel in Mexico. However, even if the counterfeit fentanyl pills came from someone else, Leo Holz still holds the tragic title as being one of, if not the youngest, person to ever be killed by a counterfeit fentanyl pill.
Nothing will ever change the fact that ten-month-old Leo Holz died after ingesting a counterfeit oxycodone pill made with fentanyl. All that we can hope for is that we can prevent any other tragedies like this from happening in the future.