A suburban St. Louis couple is behind bars after their toddler died from being left alone for more than 38 hours in a hot room without food, while the couple made methamphetamine, authorities said.
Braydon Barnes, 2, was found unresponsive in his crib in a mobile home Sunday morning, in a room with a space heater. His parents, Lucas Barnes, 25, and Kathleen Peacock, 22, called 911, but the boy was dead from undernourishment and hyperthermia, reports NBC News.
Barnes and Peacock left Braydon unattended on Friday night, authorities said. The couple confessed to St. Louis County prosecutors that they were making and using methamphetamine during the time, according to NBC. Prosecutors charged the two with felony child abuse and manufacture of methamphetamine in a residence with a child present. They face 10 to 30 years in prison for each charge, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“It’s a crime of neglect,” said St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar, according to the Post-Dispatch. “We believe that due to their intoxication with controlled substances, they didn’t have the typical faculties required to properly care for the child.”