Sullivan toddler allegedly died from parents' fentanyl exposure after baby sitter called CPS

Lisa Keitt and Jimmie Luvert were both charged with criminally negligent homicide and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Blaise Gomez

May 4, 2023, 4:45 PM

Updated 344 days ago

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New details are emerging about the arrest of two parents following the death of their 16-month-old daughter in Sullivan County on Tuesday.
Lisa Keitt and Jimmie Luvert were both charged with criminally negligent homicide and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Akassha Luvert’s baby sitter held onto one of the toddler’s stuffed animals Thursday when she told News 12 her heart is broken by the 16-month-old’s death. 
“I loved her like she was my own,” said Dana Marie Scruggs. “It kills me. I wish that there’s more I could’ve done.” 
Scruggs says she tried to help by calling Sullivan County Child Protective Services in March with concerns about the toddler’s safety in her parent’s care. 
Akassha Luvert died Tuesday, and her parents were arrested. 
“I can’t imagine what those kids saw in that hotel room,” said Scruggs. 
Police say when they arrived to the family’s motel room at the Knights Inn in Liberty, the toddler was unconscious and unresponsive in the motel lobby. 
Court records obtained by News 12 allege that Akassha Luvert died after her parents smoked fentanyl in front of the toddler and her baby brother in their room at the Knights Inn in Liberty. 
The couple allegedly passed out and left the deadly narcotic unattended on the table. 
“I’m heartbroken. If somebody would’ve helped, if somebody would’ve listened, she’d be alive right now,” said Scruggs. “CPS, I watched them physically come and leave. Nothing was done. Nobody called me. Nobody said anything, nothing.” 
News 12 reached out to Sullivan County officials for more information. 
They referred News 12's questions to the District Attorney’s Office, but no one there has responded to repeated calls. 
It’s not clear what happened to Akassha Luvert's baby brother.  
The motel the family was living in has a reputation of being a drug hot spot, with a major narcotics raid and arrest there the week before the toddler died.  
News 12 reached out to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for information. Department spokesperson Solomon Syed would not comment on the allegations and said by email, “OCFS is deeply saddened by the death of this young child. OCFS cannot comment further on an open investigation.”


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