Parents Charged In Heroin Death of 5-Month-Old Baby Girl Mya Barry

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The parents of 5-month-old baby girl Mya Barry, who died of a heroin overdose, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges Friday.

Ryan Barry and Ashley Cyr are suspected of feeding Mya a bottle of baby formula laced with heroin two years ago.

Police responded to a call about an unresponsive infant at the couple’s apartment in Marshalfield on Sept. 23, 2011.

“The victim was observed to be cold to the touch, not breathing, with her pupils fixed and dilated,’’ District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz’s office said in a statement.

She was later pronounced dead at South Shore Medical Center in Weymouth.

After a secret grand jury investigation, Cruz’s office returned manslaughter charges Thursday.

Barry claims he did not prepare the formula with heroin. Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton told Plymouth Superior Court on Friday that Barry said he used bottle water to mix the baby formula and that someone could have washed a dirty syringe in that water.

Cyr is also charged with reckless endangerment of a child. She is accused of allowing heroin into a room where the victim and her two small sisters, ages three and four, lived, along with several of adult drug users.

Eight people lived in a single room in squalid conditions, says Middleton.

Judge Raymond Geary says he believes the couple has a “lifestyle of addiction and are controlled by addiction.”

“They do not, at this point, have control over their lives,” Geary said.

“It’s an incredibly disturbing situation, something that needs to be dealt with,” said Cruz. “It’s been a very thorough investigation, and sometimes it takes time. That’s what happened here.”

Barry and Cyr are being held on $200,000 bail each.

Sources: Newser, Boston Globe