BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Lisa Woolley has an angel tattooed on her right arm with her daughter’s name, date of birth and the date of her death just weeks after her 16th birthday.

The ink used contains her daughter’s ashes. Fentanyl killed her daughter, Lisa Woolley said, but the tattoo ensures the teen will always be part of her.

Linda Sutton, left, and Lisa Woolley are the aunt and mother of Shayla Woolley, who died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose.

Woolley and several family members traveled from Bodfish to Bakersfield on Friday to attend the first court hearing for the woman accused of supplying fentanyl to Shayla Woolley hours before the teen’s death in May 2020.

Marilyn Lee Elliott, 28, pleaded not guilty to felony child cruelty. A deputy public defender asked that Elliott be released on her own recognizance but Court Commissioner Roger H. Ponce Jr., noting the nature of the alleged crime, ordered her held on $20,000 bail.

Marilyn Elliott stands next to a deputy public defender during her arraignment Friday.

Ponce said fentanyl is a scourge not just in Kern County but across the country; providing the drug is a serious offense.

“It’s one thing to engage in a process of self-destruction, it’s another to bring others with you,” Ponce said. He set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 20.

Afterward, Lisa Woolley said she saw no signs her daughter used drugs and doesn’t believe she would knowingly ingest anything containing fentanyl. She said she stressed to both her children how dangerous the drug is.

“Fentanyl is just out of control,” Lisa Woolley said. “It’s just out of control. It’s worse than heroin, meth or anything you hear about.”

Lisa Woolley said Elliott, who dated her roommate’s son, had lived in their Bodfish home.

According to police reports, Elliott was smoking fentanyl when Shayla Woolley entered her room. Elliott at first told police she refused to give the teen the drug, but eventually admitted to letting her take a hit. Elliott said she believed the teen hadn’t used the drug before.

Lisa Woolley entered her daughter’s room the next morning.

“I went to wake her up and she wouldn’t wake up,” Lisa Woolley said, her voice shaking with emotion.

Elliott was charged in January of last year but left Bodfish and wasn’t found until recently, Lisa Woolley said. She said Elliott’s bail should have been set higher. She’s afraid she’ll disappear again if released.

“That was the hardest thing for me to swallow, was her still being out on the streets,” Lisa Woolley said. “And getting high every day, and whose kid is she going to give it to next?”