Two Thorndale, Pennsylvania parents face involuntary manslaughter and other charges after their 4-year-old son died from complications from fentanyl exposure.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office said Jason Moore, 36, and Amanda Moore, 35, turned themselves in on August 11 for involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment of another person.
At approximately 10:45 a.m. on November 29, 2022, the Caln Township Police Department responded to an 911 call with a request to report a 4-year-old child who did not respond.
When officers arrived, they saw Jason resuscitating the unresponsive child, which took so long for paramedics to arrive and take over.
The child was taken to Children’s Hospital in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead.
An inquest revealed that both Jason and Amanda went to work around 7am that morning, leaving their 13-year-old at home to look after their other children, ages 4 and 3.
Investigators learned the couple’s four-year-old son had complained of a headache the night before and was reportedly damp.
Before the child was put to bed, the parents gave him Tylenol and a bath.
The child fell asleep on the couch, prosecutors said, and woke once at 4 a.m. before falling asleep on the couch again.
While the parents were at work, the 13-year-old told them he couldn’t wake the 4-year-old, so Jason returned home and called 911 just after 10:45 p.m
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office found no obvious indication of the cause of death, the Attorney’s Office said.
Investigators returned to the home and collected items the victim had come into contact with, including two clear water bottles containing unknown liquids, a blanket and a half-eaten lollipop retrieved from a trash can in the defendant’s bedroom.
On Jan. 23, 2023, the stick from the lollipop tested positive for traces of fentanyl, the prosecutor’s office said, and just days before that, the coroner’s office reported the presence of fentanyl in the victim’s body.
It was later reported that there was fentanyl in his heart blood and brain tissue.
The prosecutor’s office said a forensic pathologist in the coroner’s office thought it took about three hours for the fentanyl to convert to the compound found in the child’s blood.
Investigators also learned that Jason Moore allegedly used fentanyl in the home where the victim died. When investigators removed Jason’s phone from his vehicle, they claimed to have found drug paraphernalia in the driver’s seat, which was also confiscated and tested positive for fentanyl.
Investigators allege that Jason was late in calling 911 to remove drug paraphernalia from the bedroom where the child was found.
Jason and Amanda provided hair samples to detectives to test for drug use on January 20, 2023.
Chester County investigators said Amanda’s hair sample tested positive for fentanyl, amphetamine and methamphetamine.
She provided another hair sample in March, which investigators used to determine a time history of drug use, the prosecutor’s office said, if there were any.
On May 30, lab results from the hair samples reportedly confirmed Amanda’s use of fentanyl, and the lab concluded that she was a chronic and repeat user of narcotics.
Bail was set at $250,000 for each defendant and both were taken to the Chester County Jail.
Amanda and Jason are not allowed to have any contact with children, including their own, the prosecutor’s office said.
They are due to appear in court in Downingtown on August 23 for a preliminary hearing.