A US mother has been charged for allegedly killing her baby daughter by rubbing heroin on her gums to get her to sleep.

According to court papers, Kimberly Nelligan, 33, used the substance on 1-year-old Jordy at least 15 times before the infant died in October 2018.

Emergency services found the little girl dead at her home in Bangor, Maine, Metro UK reports.

Nelligan's partner told police he'd seen the mother rub heroin on Jordyn's gums at least 15 times. Photos / Facebook
Nelligan's partner told police he'd seen the mother rub heroin on Jordyn's gums at least 15 times. Photos / Facebook

A coroner later determined that Jordy had synthetic opioid fentanyl in her system, which is a powerful painkiller than is often mixed with heroin, making it 50 times more powerful.

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Their report determined that Jordy had ingested the drug, which could have happened if it was rubbed around the inside of her mouth.

The findings led to Nelligan's arrest, on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. She also faces a misdemeanour drug charge.

During her court appearance on Thursday (local time), a foul-tempered Nelligan gave reporters the finger.

Despite these allegations, Nelligan kept up a photo on her Facebook of drugs and drug paraphernalia in June this year, with the caption "Yay buddy".

The mother also condemned Ohio cheerleader Skylar Richardson, 20, who was cleared of murdering her baby but convicted of burying the girl's body last week.

Nelligan wrote on Facebook: "Kills me O would do anything to have my baby back stupid b**** she is."

Nelligan shared this photo of what appears to be drugs and drug paraphernalia on Facebook eight months after Jordy's death. Photo / Facebook
Nelligan shared this photo of what appears to be drugs and drug paraphernalia on Facebook eight months after Jordy's death. Photo / Facebook

The mother reportedly confessed to using heroin once a week in the months leading up to Jordy's death and the child's father told police he had seen Nelligan rub it on their daughter's gums.

Nelligan is said to have told that unnamed man she'd done the same to her older children to get them to sleep, and added: "You know I didn't hurt our daughter on purpose."

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Nelligan has been taken to the Penobscot County Jail, where she is currently being held without bail. It wasn't immediately known if she had an attorney.