A St. Joseph, Missouri man and woman have been arrested and are now facing charges in connection with the death of a 1-year-old boy. According to Opposing Views, the charges follow allegations of child abuse after the toddler was discovered inside a drug house days prior to his death. It has been reported that he died on his first birthday, August 27.
Detective Quentin Abbott with the St. Joseph Police Department recently released a statement detailing the charges that have been brought against the man and woman, identified as Roy K. Miller, 59, and the toddler’s mother, Sasha J. Lazar, 28. According to News-Press Now, Miller has been charged with felony child abuse.
“Roy K. Miller assaulted the child victim… by violently shaking him and causing injury, which resulted in substantial brain trauma, which resulted in his death,” Detective Abbott alleged, according to the court documents submitted. “The defendant had care, custody, and control of the child victim at the time of the incident.”
The publication also reports Detective Abbott revealed the toddler’s mother has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. “Sasha J. Lazar committed endangering the welfare of a child by leaving her infant child… in a dangerous environment for several days, in which illegal drugs were routinely used and left the child in the care of subjects who were known to her to use illegal drugs,” the documents said. “The defendant also used illegal drugs with other individuals while she had care and custody of the child victim.”
A number of reports have also detailed accounts from neighbors. Although many neighbors have admitted to hearing that the house was rumored to be a “drug house,” they were all reportedly unaware that the toddler was also residing inside the home. John Miller, an unrelated neighbor, recently recalled an unsettling incident that occurred on August 24, just days before the toddler’s death, reports KCTV-5.
“Monday night, around 6:20 p.m., I was outside Weed-Eating when the Weed-Eater died, so I was messing with the string and I put the Weed-Eater down,” Miller reportedly told News-Press Now. “I heard screaming from across the street and I look over and I see a girl in her 20s run out and she’s holding something. I could see her holding that child, lifeless,” he continued. “I went ahead and ran across the street, grabbed him, put him down on the ground and the older gentleman was really calm, so it was kind of weird.”
“The older man who lives there said the kid was just choking, that he would be fine. He was kind of really calm, which made for a weird situation,” Miller said. “I did everything I could. It’s heartbreaking that he ended up passing.”
Days later, the child was found dead. Lazar and Miller were both arrested by the St. Joseph Police Department. Lazar is being held on a $25,000 bond while Miller is being held on a $100,000 bond. If convicted, Lazar could face a maximum of seven years behind bars. However, Miller could face up to 30 years.
[Image(s) via St. Joseph Police Department]