COOK COUNTY, IL – A 40-year-old man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in the death of a child, after his one-month-old son allegedly died of drug poisoning while in his care, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
On May 24, 2021, Sheriff’s Police responded to a call of an unresponsive infant in an apartment on the 9600 block of Bianco Terrace in unincorporated Maine Township. Responding officers found one-month-old Jaiden Piazza not breathing and immediately began CPR. The infant’s father, Michael Piazza, told police he and his son were sleeping in bed when he noticed the infant was not waking up and called 9-1-1.
North Maine Fire Department transported the infant to a local area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. An autopsy was performed the following day, but results were inconclusive pending toxicology reports.
According to Sheriff’s detectives, toxicology reports showed that the infant died of drug poisoning. The medical examiner’s office concluded the death was a homicide caused by Fentanyl toxicity.
On Monday, May 2, Michael Piazza and the victim’s mother were taken into custody for further investigation. Piazza admitted to detectives that while he was caring for the infant, he purchased and ingested illicit drugs. The mother was later released without charges.
On Tuesday, May 3, Piazza was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a Class 2 felony, and child endangerment resulting in the death of a child, a Class 3 felony. He appeared on May 4 at the Skokie courthouse where he received a $300,000 D bond. He is scheduled to appear back in court on May 11.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.