Man charged in teenage girl’s overdose death held without bail

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A Providence man was arraigned on charges connected to the overdose death of a teenage girl on Monday.

In an affidavit, it is alleged that 34-year-old Juan Pizarro realized a 15-year-old girl was starting to be “out of it” before dropping her off at her home on Atwells Avenue.

During the hearing, jurors determined Pizarro would be held without bail.

Court documents show he allegedly supplied drugs cut with fentanyl to two minors in a Motel 6 in Warwick on April 3.

The 15-year-old girl died later that morning after Pizarro dropped her off.

She was under the care of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families at the time.

Rhode Island Rep. Julie Casimiro said this all could have been prevented.

“Nothing has changed for our kids and I blame that on leadership,” Casimiro said.

“I think the leadership at DCYF needs to do things differently, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, and unfortunately, kids are going to keep dying until it gets figured out,” she continued.

As first Vice Chair of Oversight and Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on children and families, Casimiro said the state is failing our youth.

“The state pulls kids because we feel like we can take better care of them then their families can, and yet we’re failing them miserably and it happens all the time,” Casimiro said.

She said back in 2021, funding was given for an extra 90 positions at the DCYF — she says none of them have since been filled.

Casimiro said the Child Advocates Office was sounding the alarm for years on the need for a standalone psychiatric girls facility in the state.

“I think being in a controlled environment like that would be better than being in a normal home where she can just take off whenever she wants,” she concluded.

ABC 6 News reached out to DCYF for comment and are waiting to hear back.

Pizzaro is expected back in court on May 1.

Categories: News, Rhode Island