ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) – (UPDATED 5:22 p.m.) The St. Charles prosecutor is charging the parents of a toddler who died of extreme heat in a room with a space heater.
Two-year-old Braydon Barnes had been left unattended for 38 hours in a room with a space heater that did not have a thermostat to turn it off.
The probable-cause statement indicates the trailer, in the 3700 block of Baden Street in Elm Point Mobile Village, was being used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Kathleen Peacock and Lucas Barnes, both in their 20s, face abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death, as well as drug charges.
Peacock is also currently pregnant and faces previous child endangerment charges for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with the child in the car.
Both are being held at the St. Charles County jail.
St. Charles Co. Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says both parents face Class A felony charges of abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death, as well as manufacturing a controlled substance in a home with a child. He believes Peacock and Barnes were using drugs, which is why they didn’t respond to the cries of the child, and that Braydon was also malnourished, dehydrated and very thin. An autopsy showed he had not eaten for at least two days.
The probable cause statement says when paramedics arrived, it appeared he had been dead for some time. Peacock told investigators she heard noises coming from the room and knew she should check on him but did not.
Lohmar says the trailer was in such condition that it has been condemned and deemed uninhabitable. He describes a scene of dirty dishes and feces.
“This is a sad example of people who are incapable of being a parent to a child,” Lohmar said. “The sad part is that the community has resources for people like this. We’ve got the crisis nursery, we’ve got other resources available for people who are overwhelmed, who are incapable of providing for their child. Sadly, it takes cases like this, perhaps, to remind people that those resources are out there waiting to be used.
“I’d love to tell you this is the worst case we’ve ever seen, but it’s not,” he added. “We see things like this with some degree of regularity, unfortunately, and it typically follows a similar pattern, so this is as sad as any of those.”
If you would like to make a donation for the funeral expenses of Braydon, click here.
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