Teen charged with murder after 12-year-old San Jose girl dies of fentanyl overdose

A 16-year-old boy described by prosecutors as a drug dealer has been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old San Jose girl who fatally overdosed on fentanyl, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced. 

San Jose police arrested the boy on Tuesday. 

The girl became the youngest person to fatally overdose from fentanyl in Santa Clara County in 2020, according to the DA. The Santa Clara County Coroner identified her as Dalilah Julianna Mederos Guerrero.

Efforts to reach her family were unsuccessful and prosecutors told KTVU that her family wished for privacy. 

Deputy District Attorney Donald Shearer said the girl died on Nov. 14, 2020, shortly after consuming three-quarters of a single pill that she believed was Percocet.

"She was clearly looking to put her mind in a different place," Shearer said. "She was not looking for the dangerous effects of fentanyl." 

The prosecutor added, "Unfortunately, what your drug dealer tells you you're getting and what you get are often two different things." 

The boy's name was not released as he is a minor. It was impossible to contact him or his attorney as he is a juvenile and proceedings are private unless he is being charged as an adult. Prosecutors said he will be charged as a juvenile. 

 In his Google Photos account, there were screenshots of public service warnings over fentanyl overdoses, which pre-dated the Dalilah's death, prosecutors said. 

"After thousands of deaths, everyone should know that fentanyl is a deadly poison," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a news release.       

Shearer said of the boy, "He isn't some innocent victim in this. He's someone that knew that he could obtain these pills, and when he passed them off on a 12-year-old girl, he consciously disregarded life."

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On the day she died, Dalilah was with two other teens when she contacted the boy and bought a "M-30" pill, which was captured on video. Prosecutors said the camera captured her lining up the crushed pill before she ingested it. The video was not provided.

After snorting the fentanyl, prosecutors said Dalilah passed out and began snoring, a telltale sign of a fentanyl overdose. 

She was brought to Regional Medical Center in San Jose, where she was declared dead.

This is the second time the Santa Clara County DA’s Office has charged an alleged drug dealer with murder after a fatal overdose. A San Jose man is facing a murder charge after selling a fatal opioid over Snapchat to a Santa Clara 18-year-old in 2020.

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Fentanyl is approximately 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and just a few grains can cause a fatal overdose.

Illicit fentanyl is sometimes pressed into pills made to look like other prescription pills like oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax, and others. 

In Santa Clara County, fentanyl is especially prevalent in fake generic pills, with such street names as "M-30s," "M-box-30s," "pressed blues," "blues," and "Oxy." 

If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids, please visit the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Substance Use Treatment Services webpage

KTVU's Henry Lee contributed to this report.