A Maryland man has been taken into custody after it was determined that
his child died because he ingested a deadly cocktail of illegal drugs
and medication. The defendant, age 38, is accused of
domestic abuse and manslaughter in connection with the death, which has been ruled a
homicide. The man’s 3-year-old son was found with cocaine, codeine,
acetaminophen and at least one other drug in his bloodstream.
Official reports show that the man’s child died in January. However,
a comprehensive toxicology scan took some time to complete, so the charges
could not be brought immediately. Authorities say the scientific results
show that the child had such high levels of the medication and drugs in
his body that there is no doubt that he died from an overdose.
Authorities say that they were not aware that any physical abuse was suspected
when they arrived on the day of the child’s death. The man said
he found his son in the living room, unresponsive. It took four months
for a medical examiner to determine that the child had definitely died
because of the large concentration of drugs in his system.
The defendant had apparently picked his son up for a court-ordered period
of visitation on Jan. 25. He took the boy to his home for the weekend.
Family members explain that the man had only recently become involved
in the child’s life again, as he had stopped abiding by court-ordered
visitation rules in previous years.
It is important for parents to remember that they can face criminal charges
for physical abuse, even months after an alleged incident. Some investigations
take time to complete, so charges may not be brought immediately after
such an occurrence. Although criminal defendants do have a right to a
speedy legal proceeding, sometimes scientific analysis simply takes time.
Source: The Washington Post, “Prince George’s man arrested in toddler son’s death; boy ingested
toxic amount of drugs” Lynh Bui and Victoria St. Martin, May. 16, 2014