OH parents arrested on child endangerment charge

A couple in Berea have been charged with child endangerment after heroin was found in their 8-year-old child's body.

On Jan. 11, police responded to a report of a child not breathing at a home in Berea, a suburb southwest of Cleveland.

Dowdy, the boy's father, told police that he, Simko and the boy were lying in bed about 10:30 p.m.in their home on Milton Street, off Prospect Road near the Strongsville border. When the boy took a urine test, they said heroin was in his system, WKYC reported. Danielle Simko and Charles Dowdy appeared in a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Friday after a grand jury handed out felony charges of drug possession and endangering children.

Dowdy called police on January 11 and told them that his son had stopped breathing and his lips were turning blue.

After an officer found a pulse on the child, the boy was transported to a hospital, the report stated. The man is heard telling the dispatcher, "Please hurry", and then yelling "Move!"

The dispatcher on the other end of the call then coaches the couple to perform a CPR on the unresponsive boy.

"I think he was sleeping and I think what happened was he rolled over and I don't think he could breathe", said Dowdy to the 911 dispatcher. "I think he was just, like, in the pillow and he suffocated".

Dowdy also told the dispatcher his son was seven, even though records indicate he is eight. They were arraigned in court on Friday and will appear at a pretrial conference on February 22, according to court records.

Hospital staff also found pills and heroin hidden inside a toy watch in the boy's sock, according to the local news channel.

At least 46 heroin and fentanyl deaths were attributed to heroin or fentanyl in January, and claimed at least 517 lives in 2016, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

Cuyahoga County, where the couple live, has been ravaged by the nation's opioid epidemic, reports Cleveland.com.

Police questioned Dowdy, who admitted to using drugs in the house earlier in the day, records say.

  • Joanne Flowers