- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana couple charged in connection with the presumed death of the woman’s 3-year-old son were doing drugs when some were given to the boy, court documents filed Tuesday said.

Zachary Barnes, 30, of Bluffton told investigators that he put the unidentified drugs in the drinks of 3-year-old Owen Collins and another child Friday night to “watch them have fun,” the documents said. When 21-year-old Breanna Arnold later went to check on the children, she found her son dead.

Arnold and Barnes face preliminary charges of child neglect resulting in death. A 16-year-old Marion youth who was with them last weekend also was arrested. Police said Barnes and the teenager are believed to be friends, and both face charges of abuse of a corpse.

A judge on Tuesday granted the state a hold of up to 72 hours, during which time the three will remain in custody. It wasn’t clear whether any of the three have attorneys.

The court documents say that after Owen was found dead, he was encased in plastic wrap and placed in a bedroom dresser drawer while the three decided what to do. At one point, the idea of “chopping him up and throwing him into the river” was discussed, the documents say, but they decided instead to put him in a cardboard box and take him to the woods.

Another woman who was unaware of the death drove Barnes and the youth to the wooded area, where Barnes doused the box with nail polish remover and set on it fire, according to the court documents.

The body was discovered Sunday after the woman initially unaware of the death led investigators to the wooded area where the box with the body was burned.

The body has not yet been positively identified by coroners, nor has a cause of death been determined. Toxicology results could take up to two weeks.

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