- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) - Jefferson County prosecutors are reviewing the October drug-related death of a 22-month-old boy for possible criminal charges.

An autopsy found that Carson Swyres of House Springs died of morphine intoxication and also had methamphetamine, opiates and other drugs in his system. The doctor who performed the autopsy said the child had enough morphine in his system to kill an adult.

Three women who cared for the boy told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1jLnZK3 ) they had reported his neglect to state social workers.

“We need to know what happened and why nothing has been done. Why is this taking so long?” said Cristina Adams, who said she unsuccessfully sought help for Carson. The child was found unresponsive in the mobile home where he lived.

Jefferson County sheriff’s Lt. John Dolan said investigators are considering whether to file charges that include endangering the welfare of a child, drug possession and involuntary manslaughter. The county prosecutor is reviewing the case. Prosecuting attorney Forrest Wegge said the case is being reviewed and declined further comment.

Reports from the Missouri Division of Social Services reviewed by the newspaper paint a grim picture of the boy’s home, which he shared with his mother and grandfather.

The reports describe the house as covered in trash, including the beds, and said the child slept on an air mattress on the living-room floor with his mother. The toilets didn’t appear to be working, and buckets of urine and feces, as well as rotting food, were found in the house. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were also found.

The Post-Dispatch said it was unable to contact Carson’s parents. Lacey Kertz, his mother, denied any wrongdoing to Children’s Division employees, according to the social service reports. The Associated Press was also unable to reach members of the child’s family on Friday.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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