As High as Death –

Sept. 11, 2020 – “Your family is destroyed over $10 of heroin,” Mulford concluded.

Assistant State’s Attorney Anastasia Prigge acknowledged Taylor’s addiction, but said prosecutors were frustrated that she didn’t seek help and that the “family continued to make incredibly poor decisions and Niyear paid the price.”

Charges against the baby’s mother, who is now 18, were waived to juvenile court in August.

A woman who said she was one of Taylor’s daughters, but declined to spell her name for a reporter, told Mulford how the drugs tore her family apart.

“Drug addiction is a monster. It takes and it takes until there’s nothing left,” the woman said. “It took my mother, it took my sister and worst of all it took my nephew.” She said Taylor raised her well. “She’s caring, she’s loving … this doesn’t define who she is. It doesn’t define who [the baby’s mother] is.”

Anne Arundel County police arrested the mother and daughter in December, capping off a months-long investigation into the infant’s death.

The probe began when police and paramedics responded around 9:30 a.m. July 27, 2019, to Taylor’s residence on Chesapeake Drive after Taylor and her daughter called 911 about a baby in distress. Niyear was taken by ambulance to Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead the same day. Homicide detectives returned to the residence.

Taylor and her daughter told investigators the baby was wheezing before falling asleep earlier that morning and was unresponsive when his mother awoke hours later. She called for help about 15 minutes later. A subsequent autopsy changed the course of the investigation.